Speaking in front of a crowd of about 100 at the state Democratic headquarters in Raleigh this morning, the former Vermont governor said that the party will reach out "to a lot of people that we haven't reached out to in a long time."
"The Democratic Party has changed a lot in 30 years, and so has the South," he said. "There is no reason for us ever to pass over a state anywhere."
The 15-minute speech was part of a "Register for Change" tour to boost presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as well as gubernatorial nominee Beverly Perdue and Senate nominee Kay Hagan.
Touring the state in a biodiesel-fueled bus, Dean will also make stops in Greensboro and Charlotte today, aimed at signing up volunteers for voter registration efforts here.
Dean, who has led a "50-state strategy" aimed at building the party around the country, told reporters afterward that the party will have a "significant effort" in North Carolina, but he would not give specifics.
"I think you'll see us play here heavily," he said.