If we want to find our next Jim Hunt…

by | Apr 10, 2013 | Democrats, Features, NC Politics | 4 comments

Meet our guest blogger Nation Hahn, Director of Engagement at New Kind.


I was struck by my friend Thomas’ piece when he told my fellow Democrats to get over it and get moving. It was the kind of tough love that Thomas is known for and it is an important message. He referenced Governor Jim Hunt’s return campaign in 1992 as an example for big ideas and how we can map our way back.

We need to find ideas that are a match for this moment in time, but we also must find the right people for the moment. The best reference point for how we do that is to look back to Jim Hunt and his friends in 1968 and 1972. It was a young group of men — Hunt, Phil Carlton, Gary Pearce, and others — who built an organization apart from a weak North Carolina Democratic Party.

They were willing to work long days, make the phone calls, and hop in the car. They didn’t rely on deep pocketed donors alone, launch fruitless crusades, or fixate on grudges. They got moving.

Eric Mansfield, Cal Cunningham, Josh Stein, and other leaders ought to learn from them. And beyond our most likely candidates for Governor it is time for all of us to get to work. Young leaders around the state may not all be the next Jim Hunt, but they can be the next Bob Etheridge, Gary Pearce, Brad Crone, and Phil Carlton. Young leaders shouldn’t bemoan the state of the Party, they should build their own.

Bobby Kennedy once said, “This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.”

Our world demands all of those qualities, and to win in North Carolina it also demands new ideas. Are you ready to get to work?


  1. John W. Graham

    Excellent article!

  2. Faux

    How many sentences does it take to say nothing? I guess if you throw in a quote from a Kennedy it makes up for the lack of substance even if it is a non sequitur. .

    • Nation Hahn

      Given a preference for sub-350 word posts I tried to keep it to the basics:
      + Hunt, Carlton, and company built an organization separate from the Party, even if it was of the Party
      + That effort took more work than it did money
      + We can’t wait for a deep pocketed angel to save us
      + The Kennedy quote references the qualities I believe our group of leaders will need

      I am happy to discuss any particular points. Thanks for reading!

    • sdshelton

      Doesn’t “Faux” mean “Fake?”. What are you hiding, besides you identity?

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