Orange County's Newest Party Chair

Four weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to stand for election as my county party’s newest chair. As a 21 year old, this election made me the youngest party chair in the state. The overall experience has been a truly humbling and exciting one. Nevertheless, we have a lot of work to do in Orange County and across the state – from Murphy to Manteo.

With that comes the responsibility of communicating with our communities and promoting greater inclusion.

A lot has happened in the last four weeks with a lot of preparation and transition. I am excited by what I see in my county and in other counties. I see a groundswell of support for our tasks ahead in 2012. What I see is optimism with a good dose of the reality that it will not be easy. We are Democrats; we don’t step down from challenges and hard work. It is what we do and what we do best.

2012 is an important year for us as we attempt to beat back Republican overreach in our state government and re-elect Governor Perdue, President Obama and all Democrats on the ballot. This begins with us. Through cooperation and unity, we will be able to achieve anything we wish. This is vitally important because Orange County will ultimately be the firewall to protect the rest of the state from Republican victory. We have progressive values, we have a progressive vision, and we can win. Most importantly the Democratic Party is rich in what no amount of money can buy – human capital.

The wonderful thing about Orange County is that we are a grassroots party. Like any good county party, the grassroots has to watered, nurtured and cared for. Winning in 2012 will not be possible without a strong, solid grassroots everywhere. Of course, netroots is also grassroots.

For next year, our objective is to have every precinct as organized as possible even though rural precincts are typically the hardest to organize. This is an awesome feat since we have approximately 80% of our precincts already organized. Through our committee structure as well as our coaching system (the county divided into regions with one person tasked to help the precincts in each region), our organization capabilities will put us in a position to not only drive up the vote totals statewide, but also allow us to lead a hand or two to surrounding counties.

My GOTV philosophy is simple: cede no territory and to fight for as many Democratic votes as possible. Even in hard to win precincts there are a guaranteed number of votes and you can never expect someone to vote for Democrats unless they are asked to vote for Democrats.
The number one responsibility I feel I have is to be the biggest cheerleader for our party and for our party’s candidates and platform in an effort to get people to go out to vote, vote Democratic, and voice their issues and concerns voiced.

I don’t believe I could do the job for the next year if I didn’t have candidates I can personally believe in and an executive team as strong as it is. The chemistry of the executive board is the strongest possible that I can conceive. And I don't believe for a second that our party cannot do whatever it sets its mind to.

Looking forward to the year ahead, I look forward to the dialogue and conversations on BlueNC with the greater North Carolina and Democratic online communities.

Comments

Glad to see you here

in addition to on OP.

My GOTV philosophy is simple: cede no territory and to fight for as many Democratic votes as possible. Even in hard to win precincts there are a guaranteed number of votes and you can never expect someone to vote for Democrats unless they are asked to vote for Democrats.

The filing deadline is in Feb right? Do you know if the dems are actively recruiting for those territories yet?

I don't know if the Dem Party offers its own candidate trainings, but I saw this training that is coming up, only lasts a day, is open to all parties, and the events are happening outside of the 77 to 95 middle section of the state.

http://www.roanokeelectric.com/Files/CTS%20Brochure.pdf

Congratulations and not to take anything away from

your election, but aren't county chairs elected at county conventions in April of odd years? Orange county's timing seems a bit off. Or did the previous chair step down for some reason?

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Responses

Filing is in February. The districts that include the rural precincts already have Democrats in those seats. We are recruiting volunteers and beefing up our presence in those same precincts.

We will be providing resources and other aide to candidates who file to run. Broadly speaking, the Democratic Party provides training through various avenues and routes.

Persondem, county chairs are elected in April of odd-numbered years. The previous chair chose to step down.

Thought that had to be the case.

Thank you for the direct response and good luck in your endevours as chairman. I was county chair for 3 terms and so earned a few gray hairs :). I figured it couldn't get any better than 2008 and stepped down in 2009.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Congratulations

Congratulations Matt! I wish you great success leading the Orange County Dems.