In a setback for progress, this weekend North Carolina Democrats elected a white, cisgender, heterosexual male to lead their party. The new chairman of the NCDP is former Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin, who lost his seat on the Council of State in the Trump wave. Goodwin bounced back from a narrow defeat and won an overwhelming victory on Saturday, winning his position with 92% of votes cast.
Goodwin will now be charged with the difficult task of rebuilding his party in the era of Trump. Democrats are deeply in the minority of both chambers of the General Assembly and have fewer seats on the North Carolina Council of State than at any time since Reconstruction.
Things are not all bleak for the party, however. They hold the governorship (which was won by about 10,000 votes) and control of the state supreme court (and if recent events have taught us anything, that which controls the courts controls everything). And the party has seen modest gains with affluent urban and suburban voters.
But that’s come at the expense of support from white, working-class rural voters – the party’s old, formerly reliable base. Hailing from a rural county himself, Goodwin no doubt understands the challenges Democrats face in those areas – after all, his former district in the State House gave Trump 65% of the vote.
All in all, a lot of work awaits Mr. Goodwin at Goodwin House.