Winning is key
Kudos to Bob Geary for his column on the upcoming election for the State Democratic Party Chair between Ed Turlington and Jerry Meek ("Citizen," Jan. 19). Once again, he has nailed an issue with insight and clarity.
In the past few years, I have been privileged to serve as the chief strategist for a number of Progressive Democrats in Wake County who have been successful in winning elections utilizing grassroots' campaign plans. They include Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Sen. Eric Reeves. Most recently, I was fortunate to work for Sen. Janet Cowell and Rep. Grier Martin. In that time, I cannot recall anyone more effective in getting to the crux of an issue than Bob.
This debate for Chair is positive and important for the Democratic Party. This past election cycle brought in much needed new energy, and with the likelihood of Republican overreaches, there will be opportunities for the state party to be even more successful in its primary mission--electing Democrats to office.
As Democrats choose a new leader, they should keep that primary mission in mind. When you consider that states where the Democratic Party is now virtually nonexistent surround us (Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia), this decision is even more critical for our party's future.
In his column, Bob pointed out that both candidates have progressive credentials, but that the biggest difference between them is their approach: "The first is that Meek wants to make the state party a force on issues, even if that means challenging elected Democrats like Easley. Turlington sees the party as a big tent for diverse views, one able to back any Democrat who can win."
Progressives win no matter which of these two is elected Chair, but our best chance to move a progressive agenda forward is to win elections. Keeping the Democratic Party a "big tent" is crucial for future success. Jerry Meek is a bright young man with a promising future, but Ed Turlington is the whole package. He is a progressive who understands the grassroots, but also brings a depth of experience and contacts that a State Party Chair needs to be successful. As a member of the State Executive Committee, I will be casting my vote for Ed Turlington.
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