Frank Eaton, Mary-Ann Baldwin, Don Vaughan: Next N.C. Dems chair? | Citizen | Indy Week
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Frank Eaton, Mary-Ann Baldwin, Don Vaughan: Next N.C. Dems chair?

Posted by on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Raleigh City Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin did, indeed, announce her candidacy for state Democratic Party chair. That was yesterday, I gather, when she sent an email to Democrats and copied the N&O.

Today, Frank Eaton joined the race. He's on the Democrats' state executive committee, so he may have a leg up with the voters that way. He certainly has a leg up in terms of his video skills. Watch this (his announcement follows below):


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Longtime Democratic Party activist Frank Eaton today announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP), which will hold elections for new party officers in Greensboro on Saturday, May 12. Eaton, 37, is a filmmaker from Winston-Salem and a life-long North Carolina resident.

Eaton may be best known for his political videography. During the 2012 primary, he produced Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton’s web ad “A Restless Energy,” ( which now has over 35,000 views on YouTube. He also filmed the web ad and television commercial for Eric Mansfield’s lieutenant gubernatorial campaign (

Eaton has in recent years become widely noted for his video work for the NCDP. His videos are regularly shown at statewide Democratic Party events, from organizing meetings to high-dollar fundraising dinners. His “War on Women” video ( was viewed widely on the Internet and also aired as an NCDP television commercial in 2011. (

Eaton cites grassroots party activism surrounding his recent post-Amendment One video, “North Carolina After the Amendment,” ( as his encouragement to enter the party chair race. The video, which condemns the passage of Amendment One and calls on North Carolinians to reject the Republicans who put it on the ballot, riled many Democratic Party activists in the day following the May 8, primary election. The video was posted to the web the morning of May 9, and in the first 24 hours got well over 10,000 views.

Eaton authored this email declaring his party-chair candidacy, which was sent to the North Carolina Democratic Party State Executive Committee at 9 a.m., Thursday morning:


I don't believe in being coy about a subject as important as the leadership of the North Carolina Democratic Party, so I'll tell you that I've been asked to run for Chairman on Saturday, and that I'm deeply honored. As a member of the State Executive Committee, I know most of you and consider you all friends and fellow Democrats of sound judgement. So I'm going to run a very simple campaign and leave the difficult job of making this decision to you.

The video you just watched (embedded video - was released yesterday morning, and immediately exploded to viral proportions. Folks have responded to it because it's aggressive— and arrived at precisely the moment Democrats needed it most. To me, defeating Pat McCrory is the penultimate goal of our party and our next Chair needs to engage voters across North Carolina with this level of energy and clarity.

If nominated from the floor, I will be honored to speak and welcome your support if you find me to be the best candidate for the job. As of this writing, there are two other excellent Democrats in this race: Greensboro Senator Don Vaughan and Raleigh Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin. Please get to know them. I hope that we will be joined by others, and trust that each of us will continue to serve this party in our own remarkable way.

Thank you,

Frank Eaton”

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