Doing it right

by | May 21, 2013 | Democrats, Features, NC Politics | 4 comments

All of the recent talk about the dysfunction within the North Carolina Democratic Party has gotten me thinking about how to fix those problems. If the Democratic Party wants to get back in the business of getting Democratic candidates elected they need to look within, they need to look to the hard working men and women of the Guilford County Democratic Party.

It’s not easy being a local Democratic party in North Carolina. Those outside of Raleigh are often overlooked or ignored by the State Party, or at best are looked at as provincial locals. However the amazing thing about Guilford County is that rather than bemoaning their fate, they simply buckle down and do the best they can with the resources they have, and, let me tell you, their best is pretty impressive.

Instead of duplicating the canvas operations of the state party or other organizations, Guilford focuses on candidates that don’t necessarily have the resources to do it themselves. When I worked there in 2010, they had a fully staffed, targeted program of door knockers and callers who worked independently on behalf of a local State Rep who found herself in a hotly contested race. They communicated and coordinated with all of the local managers and OFA to make sure their efforts weren’t redundant, and those efforts were rewarded with a victory.

In addition, the Guilford party is relatively self-sustaining. This year, when the Guilford Party realized they needed a bigger space, they didn’t beg the State Party for money. Instead they worked with their local resources and found a space three times the size for the same rent.

That’s the thing about Guilford.  You don’t know their names.  They’re not in it for the glory, and they don’t care about credit.  Moreover, while I’m sure they’ve had their squabbles, in three cycles of work there as an outsider, I never saw them.  If the NCDP wants to start winning elections again, they need to look within, and the Guilford County Democratic Party would be a damn good place to start.



  1. Margaret Flannery

    Right on, Matt. Guilford County delivers!

  2. Joseph Alston, Chair

    Thank you Matt for your kind words.

    As Chair of the Guilford County Party I can attest to the multitude of folks that have paved the way for us. Down through the years great democrats have dedicated their lives to the good of the party. Through their efforts my job has been made easy. I would like to personally congratulate all the fine Guilford County Democrats for their individual and collective roles in making us the success that we are. Our greatest challenge is still ahead but I have no doubt that we will meet it head on and come out victorious.

  3. Nancy G. Rorie

    Two women who deserve much credit for the outstanding reputation Guilford County Democratic Party enjoys statewide are Sue Mengert and Karen Savage, active in both the Democratic Party and Democratic Women. They are role models all Democratic women who know them look up to and respect.

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