WNC Democrats: Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Last week I was invited to attend a dinner with Western North Carolina Democratic leaders, elected officials and activists. I was included on the invitation list because of my pending move to Lincoln County where I will join the WNC crowd. What an amazing group of people. I had been dreading moving to an area that was so overwhelmingly populated with Republicans, but now I'm excited about being involved in a party that is so energized, organized and looking ahead with excitement to 2008.

Keep in mind, I'm describing Democrats who have been overwhelmingly outnumbered in almost every county. It's hard to believe. I compare that to the lethargic efforts made by the party here in Mecklenburg and I'm stunned. Many Dems in the field in Mecklenburg complain (and have complained for years) about the lack of support from the local party. One organizer who had requested precinct organization lists as she helped a candidate plan for a campaign, received a list scrubbed of all contact information so that she was unable to easily contact possible volunteers in each precinct.

More on the flip...

Back to my new WNC friends. Each county chair, elected official or their representative was given a short amount of time to offer up their thanks to those who helped with their campaigns and/or to talk about their county's successes. The two names I heard most often from organizers, candidates and elected officials alike were Jerry Meek and Mark Hufford. Jerry, as you know, is the chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Mark is the Western Political Director of the NCDP. Both worked tirelessly to help these heavily outnumbered Democrats achieve a higher level of success in getting Democrats elected than has been experienced in this area of the state in a long time.

Just like Democrats from the south have been written off by many in the national party, Democrats in the eastern and western portions of this state have long been ignored by more liberal Democrats from the center of the state. They were either too conservative or simply too outnumbered by Republicans to be worth the time and money to support.

Those days are over.

Thank you Howard Dean, Jerry Meek and Mark Hufford.

I didn't get a chance to introduce myself to that many people, but I plan on changing that and hope to get an invitation the next time they get together. Richard Carsner, the man who closed the gap on Patrick McHenry, was there and he isn't ruling out a run in two years. I wish I'd had time to chat with him. He seemed like a sincere, intelligent man and I plan on helping him out next time around.

While I didn't meet a lot of people, I did get to meet two rock stars of the WNC Democrats - Johnny Joe Rockslide and Sally Love. Their energy on screen doesn't come close to matching the energy you feel from them in person. Sally Love could put Duke Energy out of business if we could find a way to harness her energy and Johnny Joe....well....let's just say, I'm a fan. Pure animal magnetism.

Comments

The Western Dem

Good luck with the move. Please don't tell us you're changing your user name to The Western Dem.

No name changes

....and we're only moving about 50 minutes from our current home. Of course, the last time we drove to check on the property (You just can't trust those trees to take care of themselves!) there was still a huge billboard a mile or so outside the neighborhood trying to convince me to join the Republican Party of Lincoln County - THE MAJORITY party. (Maybe in Lincoln County, but not in Washington...hahahahahaha)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Animalia

Thanks for the roundup of the evening, SD.

It was interesting watching people come to talk with Mark Hufford. Many of them compared the event that night with the limp, poorly attended events of yore, and they were floored by the energy that's been created.

Further, some of the "old guard", who have been reticent to share resources in the past, verbally embraced the "youth" (that's the thirty and forty year-olds in the crowd) and the "new technologies". Some talked about having phone banks for the very first time in their counties. All in all it was celebratory, optimistic, and energizing.

And meeting you, SD, was worth the price of admission.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Awww, thanks Screwy

Meeting you and Drama Queen was a big bonus for the night. I hope we can all get together soon. February might be tough for me until I find out which weekend my husband and his wingnut friends have planned for us to go skiing. Oh, Yippee. I can't wait.

Getting everyone together would be worth having to go on that ski trip.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

you guys

Kicked ass out there and it's great to hear that the energy is moving forward and will continue to be harvested.

New technology will be key but nothing beats knocking on doors and from what I heard western NC dems did a great job. You can be sure that if Jerry stays at the helm that candidates will be getting good access to complete voter info from VAN.

WOOOT to you all.