North Carolina Democratic Party

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North Carolina Democratic Party
Chairperson Patsy Keever
Senate leader Dan Blue
House leader Larry Hall
Headquarters 220 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Ideology American liberalism
Progressivism
Center-left
National affiliation Democratic Party
Seats in the Upper House
16 / 50
Seats in the Lower House
46 / 120
Website
www.ncdp.org
Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections

The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is the North Carolina affiliate of the national Democratic Party in the United States. It is headquartered in the historic Goodwin house, which is located in the downtown area of Raleigh at 220 Hillsborough Street.[1]

History[edit]

The second party system emerged from a divide in the Democratic-Republican party in 1828. They split off into two groups, the Democrats, led by Andrew Jackson, and the Whigs. In North Carolina, people from the west and northeast supported the Whigs mainly because they wanted education and internal improvements to help with the economy. Meanwhile, Eastern North Carolina was dominated by wealthy planters who tended to oppose activist government. Over time, the Democrats slowly came to support many of the Whig policies on internal improvements. For the first time in history voters were splitting off into one of the two parties. In the 1850s the Whigs were split by the issue of slavery. Former Confederates and Whigs eventually formed the Conservative Party and opposed the reconstruction policies enacted by the U.S. Congress following the Civil War.[2] By 1870, the two main parties were the Conservatives (who changed their name to "Democratic-Conservatives"[3] and then to Democrats by 1876), and the Republicans (GOP).[4]

Secession of the state of North Carolina from the American Union occurred on May 20, 1861; this date was chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of 1775. The right of a state to separate from the Federal Union was not seriously questioned during the formation of the American Republic and had even been contemplated by some New England states during the War of 1812. North Carolina’s secession, however, was more in accord with the doctrines of John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) of South Carolina. Some Tar Heel politicians, including Senator Thomas L. Clingman (1812-1897), expressed secessionist views in 1856, when the Republican Party nominated its first presidential candidate. Secession sentiment, however, was weak prior to the 1860 presidential election of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). North Carolina excluded Lincoln from the ballot. As a result, the popular vote for president was 48,533 for John C. Breckinridge (1821-1875) of Kentucky, the Southern Democratic candidate; 44,039 for John Bell (1797-1869) of Tennessee, the Constitutional Union nominee; and 2,690 for Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861), the Democratic nominee. Because Bell and Breckinridge supporters expressed allegiance to the Union, the overall vote reveals a strong Unionist sentiment among Tar Heels. The non-slaveholding yeoman farmers made up a majority of Tar Heel voters and constituted the core of Unionist strength. The northeastern and western counties, and portions of the Piedmont, were areas of Union sentiment and, therefore, disinclined to secede over slavery. The Whig Party, which had disintegrated as a national force by 1860, still commanded a strong following. Whig politicians like Congressman Zebulon B. Vance (1830-1894) and former Governor and Senator William A. Graham (1804-1875) comprised much of the leadership, though one leading Democrat, William W. Holden (1818-1892), editor of the North Carolina Standard, was among them. The secessionists were led primarily by Democrats, including Senator Clingman, Governor John W. Ellis (1820-1861), Congressman Thomas Ruffin (1820-1863), and former Congressman William S. Ashe (1814-1862). The major secessionist newspaper was the Wilmington Journal, located in slaveholding New Hanover County. Not surprisingly, the main areas of secessionist strength were in the Coastal counties with large slave populations and in Piedmont counties, especially Mecklenburg, bordering South Carolina. The election of Lincoln prompted secessionists to launch a series of statewide local meetings. The first was held in Cleveland County on November 12, the second in New Hanover on November 19. The movement was encouraged by the secession of South Carolina on December 20, 1860. To counter the secessionist fervor, Unionists also convened. Holden’s Standard effectively upheld the Union cause and expressed hope for compromise. On January 29, the General Assembly decided to put the convention question to the people on February 28 and voted to send delegates to the Washington Peace Conference on February 4. The convention campaign was vigorously waged. Unionists defined the terms of debate as a question of “Union or Disunion.” Secessionist attempts to redefine the campaign in terms of self-defense were not successful. Answering the charge that disunion meant war, secession supporter A. W. Venable (1799-1876) of Granville County declared that he would “wipe up every drop of blood shed in the war with this handkerchief of mine”; this may have been the most memorable statement of the convention campaign. Defeating the secessionists by a vote of 47,323 to 46,672, Unionists carried the northeastern counties and most of the Piedmont and western counties. Because a few Unionists like Vance supported the convention call, the delegate elections are more indicative of actual sentiment; only 39 of the 120 delegates were secessionists. A few days after the vote, on March 4, Lincoln gave an inaugural address, which many considered conciliatory. The secessionists did not give up. On March 22 and 23, delegates from twenty-five counties assembled in Goldsboro and organized the Southern Rights Party. They urged the legislature to reconvene and demanded that North Carolina join the Confederacy. Despite numerous meetings, by early April 1861, the state seemed no nearer secession than it was in February. Then, reports came of the April 12 bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina. On April 15, Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to “put down the rebellion.” Governor Ellis responded: “You can get no troops from North Carolina.” When word arrived of Lincoln’s summons, Zebulon Vance, with arms upraised, was pleading for the preservation of the Union: “When my hand came down from that impassioned gesticulation,” he said, “it fell slowly and sadly by the side of a secessionist.” Ellis called a special session of the legislature for May 1 and ordered seizure of all federal property. The Assembly voted to have a delegate election on May 13 to an unrestricted convention to meet in Raleigh on May 20. The campaign that followed was characterized more by resignation than enthusiasm, as evidenced by former Unionists’ and secessionists’ speeches disparaging aggression. When the convention met, delegates debated whether to secede, as some Unionists suggested, on the basis of “the right of revolution.” Radical secessionists, however, favored repealing the state’s ratification of the U.S. Constitution as the most appropriate means of leaving the Union. The convention elected Weldon N. Edwards (1788-1873), a Democratic planter from Warren County, as president. In a speech, he denounced allying with the “Black Republican Union.” One-time Unionist George R. Badger (1795-1866) introduced a resolution for separation from the Union based on the right of revolution. An alternative ordinance, dissolving the Union by repeal of ratification was proposed by F. Burton Craige (1811-1875) of Rowan County. The Badger proposal was defeated by a vote of 72 to 40, after which the Craige resolution passed unanimously. Delegates then voted to join the Confederate States of America (CSA). They also voted, at the request of Governor Ellis, not to put the secession ordinance to a popular vote. On May 21, President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) proclaimed North Carolina a Confederate state.http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/commentary/52/entry

The Wilmington coup d'état of 1898, also known as the Wilmington massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington race riot of 1898, began in Wilmington, North Carolina on November 10, 1898 and continued for several days. It is considered a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics. The event is credited as ushering in an era of severe racial segregation and disenfranchisement of African-Americans throughout the Southeastern United States. Laura Edwards wrote in Democracy Betrayed (2000), "What happened in Wilmington became an affirmation of white supremacy not just in that one city, but in the South and in the nation as a whole."[1]

Originally described by European-Americans as a race riot, the events are now classified as a coup d'état, as white Democratic Party insurgents overthrew the legitimately elected local government.[2][3] A mob of nearly 2,000 men attacked the only black newspaper in the state, and persons and property in black neighborhoods, killing an estimated 15 to more than 60 victims.[4]

Two days after the election of a Fusionist white mayor and biracial city council, two-thirds of which was white, Democratic Party white supremacists illegally seized power and overturned the elected government. Led by Alfred Waddell, who was defeated in 1878 as the congressional incumbent by Daniel L. Russell (elected governor in 1896), more than 2,000 white men participated in an attack on the black newspaper, Daily Record, burning down the building. They ran officials and community leaders out of the city, and killed many blacks in widespread attacks, especially destroying the Brooklyn neighborhood. They took photographs of each other during the events. The Wilmington Light Infantry (WLI) and federal Naval Reserves, ordered to quell the riot, became involved with the rioters instead, using rapid-fire weapons and killing several black men in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Both black and white residents later appealed for help after the coup to President William McKinley, but his administration did not respond, as Governor Russell had not requested aid. After the riot, more than 2,100 blacks left the city permanently, having to abandon their businesses and properties, turning it from a black-majority to a white-majority city.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmington_insurrection_of_1898>

The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation state and local laws enacted after the Reconstruction period in Southern United States that continued in force until 1965 mandating de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern U.S. states (of the former Confederacy), starting in 1890 with a "separate but equal" status for African Americans. Conditions for African Americans were consistently inferior and underfunded compared to those provided for white Americans. This decision institutionalized a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages. De jure segregation mainly applied to the Southern United States, while Northern segregation was generally de facto — patterns of segregation in housing enforced by covenants, bank lending practices and job discrimination, including discriminatory union practices for decades.

Jim Crow laws mandated the segregation of public schools, public places and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The U.S. military was also segregated, as were federal workplaces, initiated in 1913 under President Woodrow Wilson, the first Southern president elected since 1856. His administration practiced overt racial discrimination in hiring, requiring candidates to submit photos.

These Jim Crow laws followed the 1800–1866 Black Codes, which had previously restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans. Segregation of public (state-sponsored) schools was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education. Generally, the remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 but years of action and court challenges were needed to unravel numerous means of institutional discrimination. Such challenges continue.[citation needed]

Contents [hide] 1 Etymology 2 Origins of Jim Crow laws 3 Early attempts to break Jim Crow 4 Racism in the United States and defenses of Jim Crow 5 Post-World War II era 6 Removal 6.1 Courts 6.2 Public arena 6.3 End of de jure segregation 7 Legacy 7.1 Legal 7.2 Political 7.3 African-American life 8 Remembrance 9 New Jim Crow 10 See also 11 Footnotes 12 External links 13 Further reading 14 External links Etymology The phrase "Jim Crow Law" can be found as early as 1892 in the title of a New York Times article about voting laws in the South.[1][2] The origin of the phrase "Jim Crow" has often been attributed to "Jump Jim Crow", a song-and-dance caricature of blacks performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface, which first surfaced in 1832 and was used to satirize Andrew Jackson's populist policies. As a result of Rice's fame, "Jim Crow" by 1838 had become a pejorative expression meaning "Negro". When southern legislatures passed laws of racial segregation directed against blacks at the end of the 19th century, these became known as Jim Crow laws.[1]

Origins of Jim Crow laws Main article: Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era

Freedmen voting in New Orleans, 1867 During the Reconstruction period of 1865–1877, federal law provided civil rights protection in the U.S. South for freedmen, the African Americans who had formerly been slaves, and former free blacks. In the 1870s, Democrats gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures, having used insurgent paramilitary groups, such as the White League and Red Shirts, to disrupt Republican organizing, run Republican officeholders out of town, and intimidate blacks to suppress their voting. Extensive voter fraud was also used. Gubernatorial elections were close and had been disputed in Louisiana for years, with increasing violence against blacks during campaigns from 1868 onward. In 1877, a national Democratic Party compromise to gain Southern support in the presidential election resulted in the government's withdrawing the last of the federal troops from the South. White Democrats had regained political power in every Southern state.[3] These Southern, white, Democratic Redeemer governments legislated Jim Crow laws, officially segregating black people from the white population.

Blacks were still elected to local offices through the 1880s, but the establishment Democrats were passing laws to make voter registration and electoral rules more restrictive, with the result that political participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to decrease.[4][5] Between 1890 and 1910, ten of the eleven former Confederate states, starting with Mississippi, passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites through a combination of poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and record-keeping requirements.[4][5] Grandfather clauses temporarily permitted some illiterate whites to vote but gave no relief to most blacks.

Voter turnout dropped drastically through the South as a result of such measures. In Louisiana, by 1900, black voters were reduced to 5,320 on the rolls, although they comprised the majority of the state's population. By 1910, only 730 blacks were registered, less than 0.5 percent of eligible black men. "In 27 of the state's 60 parishes, not a single black voter was registered any longer; in 9 more parishes, only one black voter was."[6] The cumulative effect in North Carolina meant that black voters were completely eliminated from voter rolls during the period from 1896–1904. The growth of their thriving middle class was slowed. In North Carolina and other Southern states, there were also the effects of invisibility: "[W]ithin a decade of disfranchisement, the white supremacy campaign had erased the image of the black middle class from the minds of white North Carolinians."[6] Alabama had tens of thousands of poor whites disenfranchised.[7]

Those who could not vote were not eligible to serve on juries and could not run for local offices. They effectively disappeared from political life, as they could not influence the state legislatures, and their interests were overlooked. While public schools had been established by Reconstruction legislatures for the first time in most Southern states; those for black children were consistently underfunded compared to schools for white children, even when considered within the strained finances of the postwar South where the decreasing price of cotton kept the agricultural economy at a low.

Like schools, Jim Crow public libraries were underfunded and often stocked with secondhand books and other resources.[8] These facilities were not introduced for African Americans in the South until the first decade of the twentieth century.[9] Throughout Jim Crow, the libraries were only available sporadically.[10] Prior to the twentieth century, most libraries established for African Americans were school-library combinations.[10] Many public libraries for both white and African American patrons at this period were founded as the result of middle-class activism aided by matching grants from the Carnegie Foundation.[10]

In some cases, progressive measures intended to reduce election fraud, such as the Eight Box Law in South Carolina, acted against black and white voters who were illiterate, as they could not follow the directions.[11] While the separation of African Americans from the general population was becoming legalized and formalized during the Progressive Era (1890s–1920s), it was also becoming customary. For instance, even in cases in which Jim Crow laws did not expressly forbid black people to participate in sports or recreation, a segregated culture had become common.[1]

In the Jim Crow context, the presidential election of 1912 was steeply slanted against the interests of black Americans. Most blacks still lived in the South, where they had been effectively disfranchised, so they could not vote at all. While poll taxes and literacy requirements banned many poor or illiterate Americans from voting, these stipulations frequently had loopholes that exempted white Americans from meeting the requirements. In Oklahoma, for instance, anyone qualified to vote before 1866, or related to someone qualified to vote before 1866 (a kind of "grandfather clause"), was exempted from the literacy requirement; the only persons who could vote before that year were white male Americans. White Americans were effectively excluded from the literacy testing, whereas black Americans were effectively singled out by the law.[12]

Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat elected from New Jersey, but he was the first Southern-born president of the post-Civil War period. He appointed Southerners to his Cabinet. Some quickly began to press for segregated work places, although Washington, D.C. and federal offices had been integrated since after the Civil War. In 1913, for instance, the Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo – an appointee of the President – was heard to express his opinion of black and white women working together in one government office: "I feel sure that this must go against the grain of the white women. Is there any reason why the white women should not have only white women working across from them on the machines?"[13]

Wilson introduced segregation in federal offices, despite much protest from African-American leaders and groups. He appointed segregationist Southern politicians because of his own firm belief that racial segregation was in the best interest of black and white Americans alike.[14] At Gettysburg on July 4, 1913, the semi-centennial of Abraham Lincoln's declaration that "all men are created equal", Wilson addressed the crowd:

How complete the union has become and how dear to all of us, how unquestioned, how benign and majestic, as state after state has been added to this, our great family of free men![15]

In sharp contrast to Wilson, a Washington Bee editorial wondered if the "reunion" of 1913 was a reunion of those who fought for "the extinction of slavery" or a reunion of those who fought to "perpetuate slavery and who are now employing every artifice and argument known to deceit" to present emancipation as a failed venture.[15] One historian notes that the "Peace Jubilee" at which Wilson presided at Gettysburg in 1913 "was a Jim Crow reunion, and white supremacy might be said to have been the silent, invisible master of ceremonies."[15] (See also: Great Reunion of 1913)

Jim Crow laws were a product of what became the solidly Democratic South. White Southern Democrats, exploiting racial fear, attacking the corruption (real or perceived) of Reconstruction Republican governments, and suppressing the black vote by violence and intimidation, had taken over state governments in the South in the 1870s and essentially dominated them for nearly 100 years. They disenfranchised most blacks through voter registration laws and new constitutions by the end of the nineteenth century. In 1956, Southern resistance to the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education resulted in a resolution called the Southern Manifesto. It was read into the Congressional Record and supported by 96 Southern Congressmen and senators, all but two of them Southern Democrats.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_laws>

North Carolina was a state that from 1900-1960's was mainly Democratic.[5] But affiliations in the latter half of the 20th century changed. Surveys taken 1968-1992 asked the public if they considered themselves Democrats or Republicans. Those identifying themselves as Democrats dropped from 60% to less than 40%. At the same time, people identifying with Republicans rose from 20% to 40%.[6] From 1980-2004, the Republican nominee for the presidency won the state.

In spite of the largely conservative bent of North Carolina's politics, a number of liberal Democrats, such as Terry Sanford and John Edwards, have been elected to represent the state at the federal level. Edwards was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004. The popular conservative Elizabeth Dole, the wife of Republican Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole - and a one-time presidential candidate herself - was defeated for reelection in 2008 by Kay Hagan, the same year Barack Obama carried the state in his victory over Republican John McCain by a margin of less than one half of a percentage point.[7]

Recent electoral results[edit]

2006[edit]

North Carolina Democrats scored impressive victories in the 2006 general elections, increasing their majorities in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly and defeating incumbent Republican Congressman Charles H. Taylor. In addition, most candidates backed by Democrats in the non-partisan races for the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals were elected. These victories came despite controversies surrounding Jim Black, a Democrat and former Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. The State Board of Elections ruled that Black's campaign illegally accepted corporate contributions and checks with the payee line left blank. He pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge, after denying charges through the November 2006 election. He won re-election by just seven votes in a heavily Democratic district, but resigned from office in 2007.[8][9]

2008[edit]

In 2008, the North Carolina Democratic Party once again earned major victories in state and federal elections. For the first time since 1976, the Democratic nominee carried North Carolina in the presidential election. Meanwhile, Kay Hagan was elected to the U.S. Senate over incumbent Elizabeth Dole, and Beverly Perdue was elected governor to succeed fellow Democrat Mike Easley.

2010[edit]

In 2010, however, Republicans swept North Carolina, taking control of both houses of the General Assembly for the first time since 1896, reelecting Richard Burr to a second term by double digits, and unseating incumbent Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge.

2012[edit]

Bev Perdue retired as Governor and the Democratic nominee for Governor, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Walter H. Dalton was defeated in the general election to Republican Pat McCrory. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell was unseated and Reps Heath Shuler and Brad Miller both retired and their seats were gained by Republicans.

2014[edit]

2014 saw Incumbent Senator Kay Hagan defeated for re-election and the seat of Rep. Mike McIntyre who had retired was taken by a Republican. Democrats in the North Carolina House of Representatives flipped four seats from Republican held districts in Wake and Buncombe counties. The state party also saw success in the non-partisan races for North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

NCDP organizations[edit]

  • North Carolina Democratic Women
  • Young Democrats of North Carolina
  • College Democrats of North Carolina
  • NC Senior Democrats
  • NC Teen Democrats
  • African American Caucus of the NC Democratic Party
  • Hispanic American Democrats of North Carolina
  • LGBT Democrats of North Carolina

[10]

State Leadership[edit]

The state party chair is Patsy Keever, who was elected in 2015. The chair is elected by and leads the state Executive Committee, a body of more than 700 Democratic Party leaders and activists from all 100 counties, which governs the party.[11] Zack Hawkins is the first vice chair, Veleria Levy is the second vice chair, Andy Ball is the third vice chair and Melvin Williams is the secretary.[12]

Current elected officials[edit]

Members of Congress[edit]

U.S. Senate[edit]

  • None

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Statewide offices[edit]

State Legislature[edit]

State House[edit]

Old House of Representatives Chamber, used until 1963 at the State Capitol.

There are forty two North Carolina Democratic house members. They are listed below.[13]

Representative District Representative District
Vacating after Alma Adams 58th Kelly M. Alexander, Jr. 107th
Nathan Baskerville 32nd Larry M. Bell 21st
Marcus Brandon 60th William D Brissom 22nd
Becky Carney 102nd Tricia Ann Cotham 100th
Carla D. Cunningham 106th Beverly M. Earle 101st
Beverly M. Earle 101st Jean Farmer-Butterfield 24th
Susan C. Fisher 114th Elmer Floyd 43rd
Rosa U. Gill 33rd Rick Glazier 45th
Ken Goodman 66th Charles Graham 47th
George Graham 12th Duane Hall 11th
Larry D. Hall 29th Susi H. Hamilton 18th
Ed Hanes 72nd Pricey Harrison 57th
Yvonne Lewis-Holley 38th Verla Inkso 56th
Marvin W. Lucas 42nd Paul Luebke 30th
Grier Martin 34th Greg R. Meyer 50th
Micky Michaux, Jr. 31st Annie W. Mobley 3rd
Rodney M. Moore 99th Garland E. Pierce 48th
Joe Sam Queen 119th Bobbie Richardson 7th
Evelyn Terry 71st Paul Tine 6th
Joe P. Tolson 23rd Ken Waddell 46th
Winkie Wilkins 2nd Michael H. Wray 27th

State Senate[edit]

Old Senate Chamber of North Carolina, used until 1963 construction of separate state legislative building.

There are fifteen North Carolina Democratic Senators. They are listed below. [14]

Senator District Senator District
Clark Jenkins 3rd Angela Bryant 4th
Don Davis 5th Linda Garrou 32nd
Micheal Walters 13th Daniel T Blue, Jr. 14th
Josh Stein 16th Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. 20th
Ben Clark 21st Mike Woodward 22nd
Valerie Foushee 23rd Gene McLaurin 25th
Earline Parmon 32nd Joel Ford 38th
Malcolm Graham 40th

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]