Now is the time: Filing period opens today

Today the filing period opens for the 2012 elections in North Carolina. Democrats have endured a series of retirements and with so many Democratic Representatives double-bunked there are a lot of open questions. Use this thread to report on interesting developments.

We are witnessing a generational handoff in the North Carolina General Assembly but we don’t even have enough candidates to contest all the open seats. The Grassroots Farm Team wants to make sure our generation is ready to take the baton. It’s time to encourage the next generation of leaders to run for public office. Young candidates face unique hurdles but with the support of a statewide network of small dollar donors, volunteers and activists we can ensure they have the resources to compete.

I recently spoke with Bill Luton, a great young candidate who is running in NC House District One, a seat being vacated by one of the infamous gang of five, Rep. Owens. Since being elected in 2008, he’s served on the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Board of Education where he has been a reformer and an innovator. Amazingly he decided to run on the second to last day of the filing period after his frustration with an unresponsive school board reached its limit. He never looked back, shocking a 12 year incumbent and the sitting board chair to become the youngest member of the school board. Like many young candidates, no one gave Bill much of a chance when he declared but he built a strong, grassroots campaign that shattered expectations.

The Farm Team is encouraging young folks across North Carolina to follow in Bill’s footsteps and run for public office. If you’re thinking about running, but not sure how to start, please reach out to us(I've included contact information below). I not only want the Farm Team to help active candidates, but also to be a resource for people considering a run. We’re sending a message to young candidates and potential candidates, letting them know they aren’t alone, that there is a network of progressive voices ready to change North Carolina, county by county, district by district.

The Grassroots Farm Team needs your financial support to make this work happen. In addition to Bill, young candidates such as Lee Sartain, Abeni El-Amin, Drew Resiegner and Jason Jenkins have already declared their intent to run. Let young candidates like these know they’re not alone and help ensure they have the resources to win. Donate to the Grassroots Farm Team today!

The filing period lasts until the end of February (and it’s a leap year so you have an extra day!). The Farm Team is here, for the next two and half weeks and beyond, to recruit and elect the next generation of North Carolina leaders. Please join us and support our work, we can’t do it without you!

Twitter: @NCFarmTeam
Phone: 336.817.1370


Two weeks will tell the tale

In my consulting business, I see companies struggling with succession planning at every level of operations. One of the marks of effective leaders is the practice of planning for their own demise, and just to say it, most organizations suck at this. When you add in the herding-cats challenge of an extremely heterogeneous political party, the odds of getting "succession planning" right are somewhere south of non-existent.

Why we need a grassroots movement.

Thanks for the comment James, I completely agree that the likelihood of the party building a "succession plan" is extremely small. That's why we need to do it ourselves. It's going to take a grassroots movement of progressive activists to encourage young candidates and provide them the resources to break through.

Another young candidate

Today, former GFT endorsed candidate and current Winston-Salem City Councilperson James Taylor filed for NC Senate district 32 (Sen. Garrou's seat). Hopefully in the next two weeks we'll see more of this!

LG candidate: via email from Eric Mansfield

I’m running for Lt. Governor because, right now, North Carolina needs new voices and broad perspectives as we emerge from the toughest economic times in 70 years. Moving forward, we need to ensure that we create opportunity that leads to prosperity for families both today and in the future. To succeed, we will need to embrace new ideas, make tough choices and elect leaders who will fight for them.

“In my short time in the state Senate, I’ve had the chance to look under the hood of state government without becoming part of the machinery. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, and we need to make sure that the policies we pursue are in the best interest of the people of this state. I firmly believe people and policy are more important than politics.

“As a physician, minister and veteran, I’ve worked with people of all backgrounds. They’ve shared their hopes and dreams as well as their fears and struggles. They know that we are in a period of economic and social transition and they want security, stability and opportunity for themselves as well as their children and grandchildren. I want to be part of the dialogue that takes North Carolina in that direction.”

LG candidate: via phone call from Linda Coleman

And also at the Dome.
Saying the "timing is right," Linda Coleman, the state's personnel director, announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor Thursday.

"My focus will be clearly directed at improving our public schools, strengthening our work force training programs in our community colleges and making critical investments in our research universities," Coleman said in a statement.

Coleman, 62, served three terms in the state House and is a former chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. In her announcement, she highlighted her work on raising the state's minimum wage and advocating for state employees.

Diversity Needed

Great to see a more diverse field for Lt. Gov than Gov. Will be interesting to see if anyone else gets in.

Evan, glad to see you're

Evan, glad to see you're doing such a great job with this. We need to do everything we can to empower our progressive, service-oriented generation.

Also excited to see a personal friend and fellow BlueNCer, DNC Member Phillip Gilfus, throw his hat in the ring today!

Thanks Sam

Phillip Gilfus just adds to an already exciting list of young candidates. I'm looking forward to working with these folks through November and hopefully for years to come!

David Price files for reelection

"Today I filed for re-election in the Fourth Congressional District.”

“For the last four years, it has been my great honor to stand with President Obama to take on some of the greatest challenges of our generation. Together, we have reformed the health insurance system, reined in the excesses of Wall Street, expanded access to higher education through student loan reforms, and most importantly, begun a recovery that has seen the economy create 3.2 million new jobs. These are major accomplishments, but we still have unfinished business. This election is a make-or-break moment for our middle class and those trying to reach it.”

“I am running to continue the fight for what’s right: to put Americans back to work, to build a sustainable fiscal future, and to make the investments necessary for renewed prosperity and expanded opportunity for all – not just the wealthy few. The federal budget must reflect both our nation’s commitment to working people and common sense. We can protect special tax treatment for millionaires and billionaires, or we can invest in renewing our middle class, but we cannot do both – and we shouldn’t. As a matter of fundamental fairness, millionaires and billionaires should not pay a lower effective tax rate than middle class Americans, or students, or seniors. These policies don’t create jobs; they exacerbate income inequality.”

“That’s why expanding access to education has been one of my top priorities in Congress. Public education is the bedrock of our democracy and our economy. It is the means by which people from all walks of life are able to help their children achieve the American dream, and we must continue to invest in it. I’ve authored laws that make interest on college loan payments tax deductible, bolster the capacity of community colleges to offer 21st century workforce training, and help ensure every classroom has a trained, highly-qualified teacher. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I also fought for Recovery Act funding to prevent massive teacher layoffs in North Carolina. We must roll back the penny-wise and pound foolish cuts the Republican House has made to key education programs.”

“The Tea Party Congress has not shared these priorities. In fact, Republicans in Congress don’t appear to be terribly concerned about doing what’s best for the country. If they were, why would they manufacture crises like the debt ceiling fiasco and threatened shutdowns that only further threaten our economic recovery? They’ve put party and political advantage ahead of everything else to the detriment of all. That is not what representative government is all about.”

“My goal is to provide the most effective representation I can for the people of the Fourth District. That means knowing your views and concerns on the issues before Congress and working hard to address them on Capitol Hill. For the last six months, I’ve been traveling the redrawn Fourth to get to know folks in the new areas of the district, like Burlington, Lillington, and Fayetteville, and to reconnect with old friends in parts of Raleigh and Chatham County that are rejoining the district. I am heartened by the warm reception I’ve gotten, and I am determined to use the coming campaign to reach out widely, exchange good ideas, and chart a course that enables North Carolina and our country to realize their full potential.”

Fight like hell

Your district is one of the most progressive in the state if not the country. Represent us!

Wayne Goodwin running for reelection

It's good news for North Carolina.

"I believe that accessibility, consumer protection and transparency are the hallmarks of good government, and those principles have guided my administration as the state Commissioner of Insurance," Goodwin said. "Now more than ever, we need someone who works for the people of North Carolina—an independent Insurance Commissioner who has no ties to the insurance industry and insurance-related lobbying. After saving consumers more than $1 billion, I’ve still got more work to do.”

Josh Stein files for reelection

Via email.

Senator Josh Stein filed for re-election Tuesday for his third term in the state Senate.

He is currently the Senate Democratic Whip and has spent his time in office advocating for a host of issues, including job creation, public education, health care reform, public transportation, clean water, and clean energy.

"Serving in the state Senate is a real honor," Stein said. "Standing up for school children and working families is more important than ever, and that's what I intend to keep doing."

Last term, Stein was ranked the most effective freshman Senator in the past decade. He has won legislative awards from the AARP, the NC Sustainable Energy Association, the Metro Mayors Association, WakeUp Wake County, the Conservation Council of NC, and the NC Justice Center.

Stein benefits from widespread support. In the past six months, 307 individuals made contributions to Stein's campaign -- the largest number of individual contributors of all 50 Senators. In fact, the only Senator to have received more in individual contributions than Stein over the last reporting period was Senate President Pro Tempore Berger.

"People who support my campaign believe that we must prepare North Carolina for the future," Stein said. "Dropping North Carolina to 49th in the nation in public school investments is simply unacceptable."

Candidates Filing to date

As of this morning, on the Senate side (50 seats), Democrats have filed to run for 14 seats, Republicans for 31 seats, and Libertarians for 1 seat.

On the House side (120 seats), Democrats have filed to run for 48 seats and Republicans for 65 seats.

In a year like this where the 2010 election outcome plus redistricting results in many voters being unfamiliar with their incumbent state legislators, there is no time like now to run Democrats in as many districts as possible.

You just never know where a Democrat might win. We can't afford to leave seats without a challenger, especially in case the Republican candidate gets caught up in scandal (drunk driving, crime, or other craziness voters can't overlook) between May and November.

Candidate Filing, 2/16

As of today, candidate filing for the legislature is still pretty light. Filing closes 2/29.

Senate - 50 seats (currently 31R, 19D)
Democrats - 18 seats with candidates (9 unopposed)
Republicans - 34 seats with candidates (24 unopposed)
Libertarians - 1 candidate

There are 9 seats contested by both Democrats and Republicans.

There are no candidates for 6 seats - 9, 14, 20, 35, 40, 42

House - 120 seats (currently 68R, 52D)
Democrats - 53 seats with candidates (34 unopposed)
Republicans - 71 seats with candidates (52 unopposed)
Libertarians - 2 seats with candidates (both unopposed)

There are 19 seats contested by both Democrats and Republicans.

There are no candidates for 14 seats ( 13, 19, 25, 34, 51, 60, 71, 72, 76, 87, 100, 104, 108, 114)

Thank you, Todd

Very helpful.


Email these updated numbers every day to David Parker, House and Senate Democratic leaders (Hackney and Nesbitt and the whips) and every staff member at Democratic party headquarters.


Candidate filing through 2-17

Per the State Board of Elections filing list, as of today, candidate filing for the legislature is below par for Democrats, who need 30 Senate and 63 House candidates to fill the slate. Filing closes 2/29.

Republicans have enough unopposed candidates for control of the Senate and just 9 short of it in the House.

Senate - 50 seats (currently 31R, 19D)
Democrats - 20 seats with candidates (11 unopposed)
Republicans - 36 seats with candidates (27 unopposed - enough for control of the Senate)
Libertarians - 1 candidate

There are 9 seats contested by both Democrats and Republicans.

There are no candidates for 3 seats - 9, 14, 40

House - 120 seats (currently 68R, 52D)
Democrats - 57 seats with candidates (32 unopposed)
Republicans - 77 seats with candidates (52 unopposed - just 9 short of enough for control of the House)
Libertarians - 3 seats with candidates (1 unopposed - really - in Dist 13)

There are 25 seats contested by both Democrats and Republicans.

There are no candidates for 10 seats (19, 25, 34, 51, 60, 71, 72, 76, 100, 114)

Isn't there a Democratic Party committee in every NC county? Democratic Precint Chairs or other officers? We need 93 candidates - badly.