A number of top Democratic Party activists are lobbying behind the scenes to keep controversial Chairman David Parker at the helm.
Parker announced in April he would step aside amid national pressure and boisterous calls for his resignation concerning his handling of a sexual harassment controversy at party headquarters.
But just days before Saturday's election to pick a new leader, scenarios are being contemplated to keep Parker -- a move that is likely to distress top Democratic leaders at the state and national level who are concerned about the scandal becoming a distraction at the Democratic convention later this year.
Bill Franklin, a state executive committee member from Burlington, sent an email earlier this week to the pool of voters who will pick a new chairman asking them to reject the "sabotage" of Parker. Democratic insiders say it echoes other conversations occurring privately in party circles.
"On May 12, help those who really care and let’s keep David Parker. If you send a proxy, give them specific instructions to go with the Parker faction," Franklin wrote in an email obtained by The News & Observer. "Do not accept any attempts at his resignation or disposal by anyone."