LEE COUNTY: Democrats hold their convention

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Local and regional Democrats rallied at the historic Lee County Courthouse Saturday for the local Democratic Party Convention.

As the keynote speaker, former state legislator Jimmy Love Sr. addressed the current happenings at the state legislature, Democratic candidates pitched their platforms and local Democrats voted for delegates and various resolutions.

“We became known as a progressive state,” Love said. “Now, on national TV and in national press, we’ve become the laughing stock of the country. And I want to change that.”

Republicans at the state and local level are “sullying” the years of work done by progressives, he said. 

“I believe the citizens have woken up to what has happened in Raleigh, and what has happened in our county,” Love said.

Former American Idol star Clay Aiken and former North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco — both seeking their party’s nod for the U.S. House District 2 seat — led off the candidates’ stump speeches.

Tim Sloan, Charles “Chuck” Baker and Larry “Doc” Oldham all said they intend to swing the current Republican-controlled Lee County Board of Commissioners back to the left, and Ophelia Livingston and Richard Hayes both said they’d be good fits for the Lee County Board of Education.

Sanford Councilman Norman “Chas” Post spoke on behalf of Justin Rosser, who is running for Lee County Sheriff against incumbent Tracy Carter, and Lee County Democratic Party Chairwoman Ann McCracken read a letter from former legislator Dennis Wicker who expressed his support for Sen. Kay Hagan. Justice Robin Hudson also spoke, and said she intends to keep her seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Brad Salmon, who is running against incumbent Mike Stone in the N.C. House 51 District, and Joe Langley, who is seeking his party’s nomination for the N.C. Senate 12 District, currently held by Ronald Rabin, spoke at the end of the convention.

The local Democrats unanimously approved a variety of resolutions, including one that asked for the lawful repeal of a resolution approved by the Republican-majority of the Lee County Board of Commissioners. The Lee County Board of Education voted to join a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the North Carolina Opportunities Scholarship Act, and the Lee County Board of Commissioners, subsequently, approved a resolution condemning the school board’s actions.  Lee County Democrats voted Saturday to “actively support the lawful repeal” of the commission’s resolution and actively opposed any budgetary decision made by the commissioners that appear to be “political retribution” toward the school boards. 

Memorials were also made to Sanford City Councilman Walter McNeil, who died on March 30, and former Lee County Commissioner Ed Paschal, who died Wednesday.