State Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller on Friday announced his selection of Robert Dempsey as the party's new executive director.
Dempsey comes with experience as the Vermont Democratic Party's executive director and previously worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Voller will present his pick to the state party's executive council Tuesday, he said in an email to party leaders Friday evening.
"Mr. Dempsey will come to North Carolina with a depth of experience that we need to start winning again," Voller wrote. "He is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work for North Carolina Democrats."
With the announcement, Voller said he is relinquishing his role as interim executive director. He acknowledged his rocky turmoil in his first 100 days with questions plauging his spending after a trip to Las Vegas and the firing of party staffers. "During the first 100 days we have made great strides, but there have been challenges and misunderstandings, too. I ran on the ideals of reform and accountability, but I realize we haven’t fully achieved these goals yet," he wrote. "There have been some errors and missteps. We continue to take measures to correct these mistakes. But, ultimately I am the Chair and I take full responsibility."
Voller said among the setbacks, "we are also making great progress." He touted the $200,000 raised since he became chairman in February, though Democrats will need to raise significant funds to keep operations robust, let alone challenge Republicans in 2014.
Dempsey, a Buffalo, N.Y. native, was selected by a search committee that included Vice Chairwoman Nina Szlosberg-Landis, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Sen. Floyd McKissick and others. Dempsey also worked as a political director for a congresswoman and the Senate Democratic Caucus.
"Robert needs our support and I intend to do everything in my power to make him the great success I know he will be for our party," Voller wrote. "The road ahead of us is not an easy one. But if we come together and recognize that the working families of this state need a strong, cohesive Democratic Party on their side. When we accomplish that, we will unite under a banner that holds Republicans’ extremism accountable. This includes our continued efforts to present a sensible alternative for the voters of this state."