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Five top N.C. Democratic officials called on Party Chairman David Parker to resign Tuesday as the fallout from a scandal concerning sexual harassment allegations and a secret settlement agreement continues.
The letter is signed by Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Superintendent June Atkinson, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and State Auditor Beth Wood.
Gov. Bev Perdue, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and Attorney General Roy Cooper did not sign the letter. (See Perdue's reaction further down the Dome homepage).
But Dalton and Congressman Larry Kissell later said Parker should resign.
"We believe that it is in the best interest of the North Carolina and the Democratic Party for Democratic Party Chair David Parker to step aside and enable new leadership to begin the rebuilding process," the five elected officials said in a statement. "We believe Mr. Parker can no longer be as effective a leader as he needs to be under the circumstances. Given the importance of this election to our state and our country a change needs to be made as we prepare for the general election in November."
In a statement release through the party, Parker refused to step down. "I have no plans to resign and I am moving forward with the work of the Democratic Party," he said.
A number of Democratic activists have called for Parker to resign in recent days. The Council of State members joined the chorus Monday evening by sending Parker a letter that asked him to resign quietly. If he didn't respond by noon Tuesday, the top Democrats said they would make their call public, sources close to the officials said.