David Young is running for state Democratic Party chair — and he's got some strong backers.
The former Buncombe County commissioner announced the support of outgoing state chair Jerry Meek, Gov. Beverly Perdue, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, state Treasurer Janet Cowell and U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, among others.
In an e-mail to Democrats sent today, Young said he would strengthen county parties, focus on all 100 counties, maintain staff diversity, continue technological advancement and boost fundraising.
"As a self-employed entrepreneur, I have the ability to commit the time necessary to do the job. I will be in Raleigh — and all over the state — to ensure that the job is done right," he wrote.
After an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer last spring, Young started a boutique firm offering local government consulting.
The party's executive committee will meet the Saturday after next to decide on the new chair.
District chairman Luke Hyde and vice chair Dannie Montgomery.
Update: Statesville attorney David Parker said he is no longer running for chair after having a "long, pleasant conversation with the governor" and learning of Young's candidacy.
Second Update: Hyde said he's still in the running, though he had earlier said he would not run if Perdue had a favorite.
"I made a commitment to a number of people in the party," he said. "I'm aware now that Mr. Young has several prominent and good supporters, but my word is more important to me than winning or losing."
Third Update: Young has also launched a Web site: www.davidyoungforstatechair.com.
The site was registered on Wednesday.
Fourth Update: Former Senate candidate Jim Neal has announced that he is no longer running.
In a press release, he said it was "an extremely difficult decision" based on the fact that he could not work full time in the job.
He also said that he made the decision while attending the inaugural festivities in Washington. The release does not mention Young's candidacy.
Fifth Update: Montgomery confirmed that she is still running.
"I am in it — to — win it!!!" she wrote in an e-mail to Dome. "It didn't take me two weeks before the election to decide that I want to get up every morning going to work for the NCDP leading us into the future."