Dan Blue

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Dan Blue
Dan Blue.jpg
Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate
Assumed office
March 2, 2014
Preceded by Martin Nesbitt
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 14th district
Assumed office
January 8, 2009
Preceded by Vernon Malone
Personal details
Born (1949-04-18) April 18, 1949 (age 69)
Robeson County, North Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Edna
Education North Carolina Central University (BA)
Duke University (JD)

Daniel Terry Blue Jr. (born April 18, 1949) is a Democratic member of the North Carolina Senate, representing the state's 14th Senate district, and is the Senate minority leader.

House of Representatives[edit]

Blue served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1981 through 2002 and from 2006 through his 2009 Senate appointment, representing a portion of the state capital, Raleigh.

Blue was the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1991 until 1994, when the Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans. Blue was the first--and to date, only--African American to hold the post of Speaker in North Carolina.

From 1998 to 1999, Blue served as the first African-American President of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

He sought unsuccessfully to regain his position as Speaker when the Democrats got back the majority in 1999, by forming a coalition of Democrats and Republicans that fell two votes shy of a majority. Blue remained in the House until he ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2002, in which he came in second place behind nominee Erskine Bowles and ahead of Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall.[1]

Blue returned to the practice of law and was hired by Jeanne Bonds (former Mayor) to be a lobbyist for cities on energy issues affecting working families.

He was selected by his local Democratic Party to return to what was essentially his former seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, after his successor, Bernard Allen, died while running unopposed in the November 2006 election.[2] Democrats also voted to allow Allen's votes in the election to go toward Blue.[3]

Governor Mike Easley, obligated to accept the nomination of the party, appointed Blue to the legislature on November 2, 2006.[4] He served the remaining months of Allen's term and then took his seat for a full term in January 2007.


In 2009, Blue was selected by local Democrats to take the place of Sen. Vernon Malone, who died in office.[5] He joined the Senate on May 19, 2009.[6] In 2014, Blue was elected Senate minority leader by his Democratic colleagues when Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt had to step down abruptly due to health issues.[7] Blue was elected to a full term as minority leader after the 2014 elections.[8]

Education and family[edit]

Blue graduated from North Carolina Central University and the Duke University School of Law, establishing a law practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[9] His daughter Kanika, who graduated from Enloe High School, Duke University and the Yale Law School, currently teaches at Campbell Law School. She is married to Jeff Capel, former University of Oklahoma basketball coach, long time assistant coach at Duke and as of March 27, 2018, Head Coach of the University of Pittsburgh Men's Basketball team. [10] His son, Dan III, ran for North Carolina State Treasurer in the 2016 elections.[11][11]

Blue serves on Duke University's Board of Trustees and was elected chairman in 2009. He was the first African American to chair Duke’s board.[12]


  1. ^ 2002 Primary Election Results, US Senate Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., North Carolina Board of Elections
  2. ^ Blue selected for Allen's seat in state House, Matthew Eisley, The News & Observer, October 26, 2006
  3. ^ Forum lifts Blue as leader for seat[permanent dead link], Ryan Teague Beckwith, The News & Observer, October 22, 2006
  4. ^ WRAL News[dead link]
  5. ^ News & Observer: Blue to serve out Malone's Senate term Archived May 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "News & Observer: Blue moves over to the Senate". Projects.newsobserver.com. May 19, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ WRAL (March 4, 2014). "Blue to replace ailing Nesbitt as leader of Senate Dems :: WRAL.com". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  8. ^ WNCN/Associated Press Archived December 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Alpha Phi Alpha, Politician members Political Graveyard
  10. ^ "Sources: Capel to return to Duke as assistant - CBSSports.com". Gary-parrish.blogs.cbssports.com. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Republican Dale Folwell next NC Treasurer". Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ "News & Observer: Big week for Blue". Projects.newsobserver.com. May 8, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 

External links[edit]