Mary Ann Baldwin, a Raleigh councilwoman, put her name in the running Wednesday for state Democratic Party chair. The party's top activists will meet Saturday to pick a new leader after Chairman David Parker announced he would step aside amid questions of his handling of a sexual harassment scandal at party headquarters.
Baldwin sent an email to Democrats that didn't mention the controversy but did promise to "Raise a little bit of hell!" when it comes to countering Republicans. (Read full letter below.)
State Sen. Don Vaughan is the other candidate in the race for chairman. But he hit early troubles after activists noted his connection to the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative policy group under fire nationally.
I would like to serve as your State Democratic Party Chair. These are my reasons for running, I hope to hear your thoughts on what this party needs.
Over the past several days, I have begun to make calls to members of the State Executive Committee. I hope to talk to you soon, as well.
This is what I have heard:
• We need new blood in our Democratic Party leadership.
• We’d like to see a woman lead us.
• We want someone who can raise money and deliver our message.
• We need someone who can energize our party and still speak to swing voters – particularly women and independents.
• We need someone with management experience who understands collaboration, responsiveness, and how important it is to listen.
• We need a full-time chair during this important election season.
I’m a former journalist and marketing communications consultant with 25+ years’ experience. I help organizations brand themselves, develop messaging and create strategies to get out their message. I’m also an elected official who has successfully run for office three times (most recently as the top vote-getting Democrat citywide), raised money, and served 400,000 people as Raleigh City Councilor at Large, and as Mayor Pro Temp. I’m someone who has led organizations of diverse people in the private and non-profit sectors. And, I am willing and able to devote my full-time attention and energies to this job.
For all these reasons, I am seeking your support for State Party Chair. I have served for four years as the City of Raleigh’s liaison to the General Assembly. I’m angry about what the Republicans have done during the past year to set our state backwards. We must reverse their reckless and divisive agenda.
This is what I hope to accomplish with your help, support, and cooperation:
• Raise awareness of the Democratic Party’s message and be aggressive in supporting education, job creation, and support for our most vulnerable citizens. Communication and advocacy are my areas of expertise.
• Raise funds to help support candidates and strong local party organizations throughout the state. Because of my experience raising funds to support my campaign and non-profits, and my business development experience in the private sector, I am totally comfortable in this role. I don’t have any trouble asking people for money.
• Raise a little bit of hell! We cannot afford to let Republicans off the hook. We have to hold them accountable, point out hypocrisy and do it in a way that does not alienate citizens.
• Raise our efforts to make sure every active Democrat in North Carolina who wants to witness history “gets to go” and be a part of our President accepting the Democratic Nomination in our great state
Ninety percent of leadership is listening. Over the next week, I encourage you to call me at 919-632-1099 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also going to be reaching out to you. Ask me any question, tell me what’s on your mind, let me know how you think we can be successful together.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday in Greensboro. I will work hard on behalf of you and our party, but we’ll also have some fun along the way.