UPDATED: Walton Robinson, the spokesman for the N.C. Democratic Party, announced his resignation this week.
His statement sent Wednesday offered no explanation for his immediate departure after 15 months on the job. In an email Friday, Robinson said he is "leaving to pursue other professional opportunities. That's all."
Executive Director Tammy Brunner said Friday that other staff reductions are expected, as is typical "inan election year such as this." Asked if the party's struggling financial situation affected the decision, Brunner said "as always finances play a role in the reduction of employees."
Robinson, a Tennesee native, joined the party in August 2011 and guided its communications strategy through a tumultous year in which the incumbent Democratic governor announced she wouldn't seek re-election and controversies crippled the party, not to mention the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
A scandal enveloped the state Party earlier this year after a staffer accused former executive director Jay Parmley of sexual harrassment. It led to Parmley's resignation and calls for Party Chairman David Parker to step down. Parker indicated he would step aside but then manuvered to keep the helm in a controversial state party meeting in May. Parker represented the state at the DNC in Charlotte even as a lawsuit about this matter remains unresolved.
Democrats lost the statehouse in 2010 and the 2012 elections delivered more bad news for them: Republican Pat McCrory won the governor's race, the GOP increased its majorities in the legislature and Democrats lost a bid for control of the N.C. Supreme Court.
Robinson came to North Carolina after working as press secretary for the Indiana State Teachers Association. He provided no information about his future plans.