Mayor seeks Democratic Party chairmanship

Dec. 15, 2012 @ 05:01 AM

Pittsboro Mayor Randolph Voller announced his candidacy Friday for the chairmanship of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Voller, who has served as the Pittsboro mayor since 2005, formally announced his candidacy in front of the state party headquarters building in Raleigh, citing a need to focus on building party efforts in each county.

“You have to have a solid foundation locally and from there go forward,” Voller said, who’s served for two years as the chairman of the Chatham County Democrats. 

Voller said party and grassroots activists in North Carolina encouraged him to seek the position. If elected, he said he would advocate community, opportunity, fairness, transparency and equality.

While serving as the chairman of the Triangle Area Rural Planning Organization Chair, Voller worked with Lee County and the rest of Central Carolina and said he’d continue this work as the chairman of the state party.

“It’s a great opportunity to get the message out about Democrats’ values and how these policies are going to impact people’s lives,” he said.

Republicans gained a super majority in the General Assembly along with the North Carolina governor’s mansion, providing an opportunity for the Democratic Party, Voller said.

“Our party is going through a process of change,” he said. “As elections have clarified things over the last decade and now they have the General Assembly and governor’s mansion, it is going to be a good opportunity for our citizens to gain a clear understanding of the values Democrats believe in.”

Voller said Democratic candidates performed well in Chatham County in last month’s election, thanks to strong local party interaction with voters and fundraising.

The state is at a crossroads and, he said he’d like the state to remain a beacon for the rest of the nation.  

Voller wants to succeed Chairman David Parker, who announced earlier this week he wouldn’t seek another two-year term. Party activists will vote on the new chairman during its Feb. 2 meeting in Durham. Outgoing state Sen. Eric Mansfield of Fayetteville says he’s also strongly considering running.

Herald reporter Anna Johnson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.