Apr
04

BCDP Officer Elections

By

It all began with a great roar. Charles Carter suddenly announced that he wouldn’t run for a second term. Cecil Bothwell announced his candidacy then reversed course, withdrew his name, and declared he would depart the Democratic Party altogether in a run for Congress. Lindsey Simerly announced her candidacy and quickly ran up against the difficult fact that, in the event of a Democratic primary challenge to Rep. Shuler, she could not serve as both Party Chair and Shuler’s Director of Field and Outreach. Grant Millin kind of ambled in and typed long comments here at Scrutiny Hooligans.

Several days after Cecil removed himself from the race, former Party Chair Kathy Sinclair alerted folks that she would run. She argued that her prior experience could overcome any obstacles and that the party was ready. This formula evidently ran out of gas over the weekend, when Kathy announced that she was withdrawing her name from consideration due to the negativity of her opposition.

So there we were, just a few days before the convention, and only one candidate remained.

The big news is that another candidate is about to announce and likely become the consensus choice. He hasn’t yet declared his candidacy, so I won’t jump the gun by posting his name here. He’s got campaign experience, party experience, and a great attitude. He looks to be the next iteration of bridge builder necessary to hold together the developing bonds between the progressive, moderate, and conservative segments of our big tent Buncombe County Democratic Party.

All of the action surrounding the Chair race has obscured the fact that there are several other positions also up for grabs bright and early this Saturday morning. Candidates for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Vice Chair as well as candidates for Secretary and Treasurer will also be decided by Democratic delegates at the Buncombe County Courthouse.

All of the candidates, former candidates, and future candidates are welcome to use this thread as a place to communicate in a transparent, interactive forum.

Thanks to everyone who’s willing to serve in these difficult positions that require big time commitments. They don’t usually get the gratitude they deserve. They are the organizers that turn our collective wishes into on-the-ground Democratic Party realities.


Comments

  1. Lindsey Simerly says:

    Thank you very much for considering me for the position of Chair of the Buncombe County Democratic Party. I sincerely appreciate everyone’s interest in the upcoming elections at our convention. I am especially grateful to the many of you who spoke with me, to share information, and to show your support for my nomination.

    However, I must withdraw my nomination.

    Buncombe County will be best served by a Democratic Party Chair and Party Officers who reach out to, include, and motivate Democrats of every stripe. Our elected Officers must demonstrate impassioned support for Democratic candidates in every race on the ballot. Our Party Officers should also be able to commit to serving a full two-year term.

    I am dedicated to Democratic victory at all levels, and have worked simultaneously for Democratic candidates, both progressives and conservatives. But party rules would require me to vacate the role of Party Chair or any Party Office in the event a Democrat challenges Heath Shuler in the primary. (This is because I am employed by Heath Shuler for Congress.)

    The rules are clear and fair; they intend to unify our Party and ensure that each Party Officer supports all Democratic candidates equally. That is the kind of unity our Party needs and deserves.

    Again, thank you for your consideration. I am sorry to leave the race. I look forward to serving you by other means. I remain dedicated to the Democratic Party. I continue to will work with you for Democratic victory—just not as an Officer of our Party.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsey Simerly

    Thumb up 18

  2. shadmarsh says:

    So what’s the status of the Millin candidacy?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  3. Holly Jones says:

    Lindsey Simerly is the real deal. Her poise and leadership are much appreciated. Thanks for all you do for the entire party Lindsey and for modeling true inclusion. I am proud to be under a truly big tent.

    Thumb up 20

  4. Who is this mystery candidate? What can you tell me about Mr. Millin?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  5. Grant Millin says:

    Hey there,

    I just posted some thoughts about all this to the 2011 BCDP delegates and the BCDP community. I like that Scrutiny Hooligans is transparent, but the BCDP community needs to have a chat before the convention.

    I am learning that there was a plan for the current 2011 BCDP elections, but apparently the Register of Deeds activities took up a lot of energy and attention… also needed for the immediately following BCDP officers race. Instead of the executive committee nominating a slate, the elections were open format this time and the 2011 BCDP officers race was announced after the Register of Deeds race. The 2011 BCDP nominating committee will still have a role, but apparently not as decisively so as in the past. Basically that was a good idea.

    All I want to do is see the Buncombe County Democratic Party be healthy. If I can help it, the Buncombe County Democratic Party will be a more innovative and inclusive organization… as well as fulfilling the mission of getting the best Democrats possible into office.

    Sincerely,

    Grant

    Thumb up 3

  6. Emmet Carney says:

    Dear Friends,

    I would like to take this opportunity to announce my candidacy for Chairman of the Buncombe County Democratic Party. This is obviously a critical time for Democrats nationwide, but our local party specifically faces some new challenges and some old wounds.

    I have spent close to eight years running my own law practice, and the last two years I have served as Vice-Chair for the Young Buncombe County Young Democrats. At my law practice, I have spent nearly every moment in some sort of conflict resolution. I have long since mastered my emotions, particularly in stressfull situations. I have worked on local campaigns and I understand the duties that will be required.

    I choose to pursue this role, not for any glory, but to serve as mediator and facilitator for my many friends in the party. I am well positioned to begin this endeavor. In my last eight years around the courthouse I have worked to gain the respect of those around me, some of whom have in our party for a very long time. In my work with the Young Democrats, I have come to know and respect many of those in the newer elements of our party. If elected Chairman I would foster unity and respect amongst the party’s many elements in the critical days ahead. I would proactively try to unite our party, as the Republicans literally divide our turf.

    Thank you and more to come.

    Emmet Heywood Carney

    Thumb up 9

  7. barry says:

    I vote Mystery Meat.

    Thumb up 6

  8. shadmarsh says:

    I’m still trying to figure out if I got an answer to my question or not.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  9. Mine too.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  10. Phil Burton says:

    It’s interesting that a blog not associated with the Buncombe County Democratic Party is where Buncombe County Democrats gain information about the party politics. These comments and letters should be on the BCDP web site.

    Thumb up 3

  11. Marianne Cote says:

    In reference to Phil Burton’s comment:

    “It’s interesting that a blog not associated with the Buncombe County Democratic Party is where Buncombe County Democrats gain information about the party politics. These comments and letters should be on the BCDP web site.”

    I concur completely and sent an email to Charles Carter two hours ago, making this very point.

    Marianne Cote

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  12. nathan ramsey says:

    Congratulations Emmet on your candidacy! While our politics differ, you are a first class guy. Henry Mitchell, chair of the BCRP, is very community minded and a all around good person. If elected chair, you will be a formidable opponent. Good luck!

    Thumb up 7

  13. Michael Muller says:

    But Phil and Marianne — this is where all the cool kids hang out.

    Thumb up 10

  14. TJ says:

    ” I have long since mastered my emotions, particularly in stressfull situations.”

    So, are you up for Buddhaship? ;-D

    j/k, really. Sounds intriguing. I’m just getting to “know” candidates, and you sound like you have good experiences.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. TJ says:

    “It’s interesting that a blog not associated with the Buncombe County Democratic Party is where Buncombe County Democrats gain information about the party politics. These comments and letters should be on the BCDP web site.”

    “I concur completely and sent an email to Charles Carter two hours ago, making this very point.”

    “But Phil and Marianne — this is where all the cool kids hang out.”

    Well, Michael, perhaps we’re not ALL ‘cool,’ but having the info here is just a tad helpful to folks like me whom really don’t surf the web looking for all the latest info, am just dipping my toes into the political scene locally, and whom likes to get a variety of info without having to go through all kinds of hoops to weed out the rude commentary from the sincere.

    Of course, maybe that’s not a good enough reason to share info here?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. barry says:

    Okay, but if Emmet breaks out into “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow”, I’m voting for Grant.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  17. Michael Muller says:

    Asheville Politics is like a bad crack habit, TJ. One day you’re on top of the world with lots of friends, the next you’re in a cheap hotel room with a twenty dollar hooker about to be busted.

    Thumb up 9

  18. TJ says:

    “Asheville Politics is like a bad crack habit, TJ. One day you’re on top of the world with lots of friends, the next you’re in a cheap hotel room with a twenty dollar hooker about to be busted.”

    ;-D Good to know I’m not making a career out of it. However, still trying to get a foot in the door to get heard on some issues.

    Sounds like politics most places…at least it was that way in CA, as well. Just out here, people seem to have a less clear way of communicating (isn’t that ‘special?’). I still don’t have all the lingo down. Probably never will. I’m lucky my kids vote me the “best” on their good days ;-).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  19. Tim Schultz says:

    So … nobody has yet told me whether or not I need to show up for this event. I wanted to see a real knock down drag out convention battle that left people bitter and frankly, I was disappointed when people kept dropping out, but now we’ve got more candidates! Better yet, they’re people I’ve never heard of! Will I see a bruising fight to the finish?

    Will someone let me know if I need to take time off to see this?!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  20. TJ says:

    “Better yet, they’re people I’ve never heard of! Will I see a bruising fight to the finish?

    Will someone let me know if I need to take time off to see this?!”

    Oh, come on! Isn’t it fun here, too? I wanna see what happens here, then I’ll see if it’s too dangerous to take my TKD training to the real life event. ;-D

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  21. Tim Schultz says:

    You’re right, TJ. It -is- fun here.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  22. Tom Sullivan says:

    TJ,

    A key thing to remember about Buncombe County Democratic Party psychology: The sky is always falling. The End is always near.

    If you start hearing concerns about unity/disunity in the party, it’s because people accustomed to getting their way are threatened and worried they might not. To be followed by false and ugly — but sometimes imaginative — rumors.

    Been that way as long as I’ve been around.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  23. TJ says:

    “A key thing to remember about Buncombe County Democratic Party psychology: The sky is always falling. The End is always near.”

    Wow, sounds a lot like my parent’s Republican politics!

    I’ll be interested in seeing whom has either “new” ideas, or at least knows how to make the package look different.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. Dixiegirlz says:

    Lately the BCDP has been projecting a comedy of errors. Does this show much more behind the scenes disarray and reality than they really want to reveal?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  25. Unaffiliated Voter says:

    So David Gantt comes clean and believes that the Buncombe Co Commission should always remain all democrat, huh? They arent leaders anymore. Every county district should have a commissioner so we can get aligned in the real world. Actually all this democrat silliness is hilarious to watch. Like worms in hot ashes….

    Thumb up 3

  26. I don’t think it’s so much a comedy of errors as it is transparent democracy. Instead of backroom dealing (though, of course there may be that too) this public airing of potential candidacies puts the sausage making in the front room.

    I know that the effort to draft me for the chair, including the early posting of that news when I initially assented, pushed me to make an important decision I had intended to postpone til fall. Similarly, Lindsey’s candidacy ultimately focused or narrowed her attention on what she’d be doing in coming months. Then Kathy’s willingness and retreat in the face of negativity. It would be prettier if all the sorting were done quietly, and perhaps I should have been clearer about my future decisions … but I think all of this is good for the party. I prefer contention, reversal, discussion, to coronation.

    And in the end, we need to note that the urgent job facing the next chair, notwithstanding Tom’s incisive note per falling skies, is to figure out how to fish or cut bait on the HQ building.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  27. Gordon Smith says:

    Dixie,

    I don’t have to post this stuff here. I do it because it’s helpful to get this kind of process out in the open. Cecil chose to run for Chair, then realized that he ought not have said yes to his backers since he was planning to run for Congress. Turns out Cecil has decided to cut bait on the whole Party, so it probably wasn’t the greatest choice from the get go. Each of the erstwhile candidates had their own reasons for getting in and getting out of the race. This can be confusing to folks who are coming to the convention, so I thought I’d put it all in one place in advance. That way we can come together on Saturday with the facts before us to make some important decisions.

    Thumb up 8

  28. Dixiegirlz says:

    True Gordon and Cecil…and I truly appreciate you’re taking time to dialog. Still from the outside things look “odd.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  29. Tom Sullivan says:

    Cecil’s right. This is just a more open process than it used to be — to the chagrin of those who prefer an election that’s a nice, neat fait accompli. But as I said in an earlier thread, few people want these jobs. This cycle has been unusually dynamic. No one was in, so Lindsey got in. Cecil went independent, so Lindsey got out, deciding she was needed elsewhere. So Kathy offered, etc.

    More on the background noise:

    The sky was falling when “too liberal” Patsy Keever ran for Congress in 2004 without the proper blessings. The End was near when Dennis Kucinich won the 2004 presidential primary in Buncombe over John Edwards. It would leave the party in ruins if Jerry Meek defeated Raleigh power brokers to win the state chairmanship in 2005. (“You know, he’s gay,” went the local whispering campaign. Big news to his new wife, Trisha.) Rumors then flew that “the progressives” were plotting a takeover in Buncombe. Say “nineteen ninety-four” and watch people shudder.

    The sky is always falling and The End is always near … again and again and again.

    “Keep the ‘Change’” isn’t just a *Republican* bumper sticker.

    Where others see the BCDP as perpetually on the verge of coming apart (if they don’t get their way), I find it remarkably resilient. With “that Jerry Meek” as state chair, things went rather well for us in 2006 (ask Heath and Van). Under Chicago native (horrors!) “that Kathy Sinclair,” Buncombe Dems won 36 of 36 races in 2008 after the most divisive presidential primary season in memory (another whispering campaign against Sinclair this week). Buncombe Dems held their ground pretty well in 2010, too. If that’s what “The End” looks like, more of it, I say.

    Thumb up 6

  30. TJ says:

    “You know, he’s gay,” went the local whispering campaign. Big news to his new wife, Trisha”

    Is that gay, as in Gordon is “gay?” (sorry, Gordon, I couldn’t resist ;-) ). Remember when it used to mean happy?

    You know, Tom, humans are creatures of habit. It’s what makes criminals easy to track down and profile over time. It’s what makes people wince every time election time comes around. We want “better,” but most people don’t want the discomfort changing for “better” requires…and for God’s sake, if someone has to change something, let it be “them.”

    So, as fascinated as I am with human behavior, it remains a constant source of puzzlement, as well.

    I remain curious as to how events will unfold this year.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  31. barry says:

    And now Grant Millin has dropped out too? Damn. I was hoping for a deadlocked convention going through 30 or even 40 ballots, with the network anchors staring at each other in exasperation, their sweat-stained shirts clinging to them like lobbyists, as the balloons in the netting above the delegates slowly deflate, and the cigar smoke coats everyone in the hall in a thin brown patina…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  32. Just think, then the Supreme Court would have had to step in and halt the recounts!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  33. barry says:

    …And then George W. Bush would be declared the Chairman of the Buncombe County Democratic Party. You’re right, Cecil. I hadn’t thought it through – that would suck.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  34. Michael Muller says:

    Alrighty then, TJ — I’m at the Blue Ridge Motor Lodge, room 119. There’s a Mumpower For Congress sticker on the door.

    And are you a cop? You know if I ask you if you’re a cop, and you are cop, you have to say yes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  35. barry says:

    I just want it on record that I’m staying out of that particular conversation…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  36. TJ says:

    “And are you a cop? You know if I ask you if you’re a cop, and you are cop, you have to say yes.”

    Well, there ARE actually ways around that question, and is a fallacy with is the downfall of many criminals. ;-D However, I dislike pretense, so no, I’m not. However, I don’t want to visit somewhere I might be associated with any particular political party… that’s against my religion, so you’d have to nix the sticker…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. TJ says:

    “I just want it on record that I’m staying out of that particular conversation…”

    Well, YOU’RE no fun.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  38. Michael Muller says:

    Jeez. Tough room.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3