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Mansfield exits N.C. Democratic Party chairman race

UPDATED: Former state Sen. Eric Mansfield quit the race for N.C. Democratic Party chairman Thursday, citing family reasons.

Mansfield, a Fayetteville surgeon who lost a primary bid for lieutenant governor, said his mother's declining health led to the decision, though he faced significant opposition from allies of the State Employees Association of North Carolina, which helped crush his previous campaign. "It brings my family and I great sadness to announce that I must end my campaign for North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman effective immediately," Mansfield said in an email sent to supporters Thursday morning. "As many of you know my mother has developed a rapidly deteriorating disease which requires my full attention."

The move comes nine days before the Democratic Executive Committee is scheduled to meet to pick its new leader and opens a candidate vacuum. The only remaining candidate in the race is Randy Voller, the Pittsboro mayor and Chatham County Democratic Party chairman.

A trio of Democrats who might lead them from the wilderness

Whither, N.C. Democrats?

For the most part, the state’s Democratic candidates were knocked back on their heels by the Nov. 6 election. That followed a legislative session in which the GOP pretty much got most of what it wanted, and scandal at the party headquarters.

Is there hope for Democratic leadership? Veteran Democratic politico Gary Pearce thinks so. In the blog he shares with conservative Carter Wrenn, Pearce recently named three  leaders to watch:

Behind in the polls, Mansfield launches TV ad campaign

Democratic State Sen. Eric Mansfield launched a TV ad to boost his bid for lieutenant governor a week ahead of the May 8 primary. The kicker: "Help me change North Carolina."

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Mansfield trailing his rival Linda Coleman with 43 percent of Democrats undecided. Coleman's support sits at 39 percent to Mansfield's 18 percent.

Eric Mansfield responds to opponent's attacks with lots of smiles

In the Democratic lieutenant governor's race, Linda Coleman is hitting Eric Mansfield with a negative mail piece. But Mansfield's response is all sunshine and smiles.

The freshman state senator sent a campaign mailer this week that touts his biography and casts himself as an outsider and reformer. ("Rejecting the dead end politics in Raleigh. A different kind of lieutenant governor.") It's so nonpartisan and broad-based it seems like a general election piece, touting his Baptist faith and military experience. Take a look at a PDF of the mailer below.


Linda Coleman attacks Eric Mansfield's record in mailer

Linda Coleman is going on the offensive against state Sen. Eric Mansfield in the Democratic race for the state's No. 2 post.

Coleman sent a mailer to Democrats in major metro areas earlier this week attacking his record and suggesting he isn't true to the party's core. It cites Mansfield's $250 donation to Elizabeth Dole, his vote supporting the medical malpractice reforms and his absence when the legislature voted to put the constitutional marriage amendment on the ballot. Mansfield has called the attacks misleading.

Coleman mailer.pdf

In Democratic primary, voters mostly undecided on down-ballot races

The downballot races in the Democratic primary remain amorphous with huge numbers of undecided voters still looking for a good horse.

AFL-CIO committee endorses Coleman, but not gubernatorial candidate

The state AFL-CIO political action committee endorsed Linda Coleman in the lieutenant governor's race, becoming the latest in a litany of organizations to back the Democrat in her race against state Sen. Eric Mansfield.

The labor organization on Thursday decided against making an endorsement in the contested Democratic governor's race. President James Andrews said the 60-member committee of the AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education could not reach a super-majority consensus on the candidates, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, former Congressman Bob Etheridge and state Rep. Bill Faison.

Coleman gets Emily's List endorsement

Linda Coleman received an endorsement Thursday from Emily's List, a political group that supports pro-choice Democratic candidates.

The Washington, D.C., based-group also endorsed Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Treasurer Janet Cowell, Auditor Beth Wood and Superintendent June Atkinson. But Coleman is the only statewide candidate on the list with a Democratic primary opponent.

Mansfield campaign gets help from prominent donor

UPDATED: State Sen. Eric Mansfield is getting fundraising help from a prominent Democratic donor.

Nina Szlosberg-Landis, a member of the N.C. Department of Transportation board and a big Obama fundraiser, is planning to host a fundraising event for Mansfield's lieutenant governor campaign the evening of April 11.

In an email to friends, Szlosberg-Landis called Mansfield the "progressive choice" for the state's No. 2 post. Mansfield, a freshman lawmaker from Fayetteville, faces Linda Coleman, a former lawmaker and the state's personnel director, in the Democratic primary May 8. Three Republicans are also vying for the post.

Linda Coleman stumbles on gay marriage question

UPDATED: North Carolina’s vote on constitutional gay marriage ban is putting candidates – particularly Democrats – in the hot seat this election season.

Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton retreated from his previous support for a constitutional referendum. The gubernatorial candidate sponsored a similar referendum as a former state senator, but now says “perhaps” he was wrong.

His opponent, former Congressman Bob Etheridge, declined to take a position at first. He later said he opposed gay marriage but did not support the effort to put a gay marriage ban in the state constitution.

Linda Coleman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, stumbled down a similar path this week. She said she opposed the amendment, but struggled to explain her position on the current law.

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