Under the Dome

Senate Democrats will select minority leader in mid-December

When the Senate Democratic Caucus meets in mid-December to select the minority leader – another term for Sen. Martin Nesbitt, Jr. or someone else – members insist the decision will not be contentious and that talks will be more centered on the best strategy for working with the Republican majorities that are all around.

“The fact of the matter is, there’s a small enough number of us that everyone in the caucus is going to have their voice heard,” said Sen. Dan Blue. “Nobody has called around to indicate any change or specific candidates.”

Blue said he and his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, like those in the House, are focused on figuring out how to offer cohesive and effective messages whatever approach the Republicans take when session starts in January – moderate and balanced or farther to the right. He said Gov.-elect Pat McCrory’s appointments will shed light on which direction state government is likely to go.

“Based on campaign rhetoric I would expect McCrory to govern as a practical politician, not a right-wing ideologue,” Blue said. “If that’s the way he intends to preside, he’ll certainly find a good partner in me, and I imagine we could find support in the caucus.”

Sen. Floyd McKissick said what Republican will do is little more than a guessing game at this point, but he expects Democrats will focus on messaging that will resonate with people far removed from the Capitol while being selective with their battles.

McKissick said life will become easier if Republicans tilt too far to the right.

“If they give into some of the more extreme views, messaging will become a lot easier for us,” he said.

A schedule for the caucus to meet and continue ongoing talks of strategy and to select a leader has not been exacted.

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