This year, we're beginning to see what happens in the wake of the most successful youth-powered campaign in American history. Many of North Carolina's young leaders have filed to run for office in this year's important municipal elections. Some are new to politics, some have spent years working to make policies that will help our state, and others have the experience of a previous run for office under their belt. Some are past and present Young Democrats, while others are just plain Democrats. But they're all a departure from the politics-as-usual candidates that have given so many of us a headache over the past few years.
Andy Ball is a young leader who is running for Town Council in Boone. Andy currently serves on Boone's Board of Adjustment and as the president of the Watauga County Young Democrats. His friendly personality and his experience in Watauga politics, as well as his ties to ASU, will make him an asset on the Boone Town Council.
Kady-Ann Davy is a candidate for Fayetteville City Council District 2. She is involved with numerous civic organizations in Fayetteville and is currently the President of Sandhills Health and Wellness, LLC. She was a DNC Delegate for Barack Obama and hopes to work on public safety and urban housing issues.
Donald Hughes is the youngest of these candidates at 22 years old and is pursing a seat on the Durham City Council in Ward One. He was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama, an intern for Congressman Mel Watt, and is the son of a former Councilwoman/School Board Member. He has thoughtful ideas for economic development that will unlock the potential of Durham.
Jay Ovittore, who ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 NC-06 Congressional Primary, is running for Greensboro City Council District 3. He's a BlueNC blogger, a member of Greensboro's Human Relations Commission, and a tireless fighter on a range of issues, including health care and broadband access.
Lee Sartain is running for Raleigh City Council At-Large. He's got an impressive web presence and is barnstorming Raleigh with his boundless energy. Like many young candidates, Sartain is looking to the future with his interest in developing the Raleigh Innovation and Technology Zone (RITZ) in the city’s downtown.
Asheville City Council Candidate Gordon Smith - no relation to the former US Senator - needs no introduction in the NC Blogosphere. In his professional life he councils children and families, while in his political life he has used his blog to fight the Woodfin coal plant and replace former Rep. Charles Taylor. He's got the endorsement of the councilwoman he's hoping to replace, and he'd be a great addition to the board.
Owen Sutkowski is running for Charlotte City Council District 1 in a primary that will determine the winner of the race as there is no Republican opposition. Sutkowski is running on a platform of open government and community involvement, especially on planning issues. He faces a tough challenge in popular incumbent Patsy Kinsey, but the race looks to be very competitive.
James Taylor - also no relation - is a 28-year-old Juvenile Court Counselor running for Winston-Salem City Council in the Southeast Ward. His community involvement and his commitment to helping Winston-Salem residents of all ages speaks for itself.