Notebook: Democratic Party and its candidates clash during convention

Posted by Paul A. Specht on June 8, 2014 

The N.C. Democratic state convention at times showed a tension between the party and some of its current and future candidates.

One of the resolutions up for consideration Saturday during the party’s convention at the Raleigh Convention Center urged the Attorney General – currently Democrat Roy Cooper – to “exercise his right to decline to defend the constitutionality of Amendment One,” a reference to a 2012 referendum that put a ban on same-sex marriage in the state constitution.

The resolution was pulled from consideration for later discussion after a delegate said it “attempts to intimidate” Cooper, who plans on running for governor in 2016.

One of the resolutions approved by delegates expresses opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline because of the potential damage it could cause to the environment. U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, meanwhile, supports the pipeline.

“Kay believes that we need to move ahead with the Keystone pipeline. She believes in an all-of-the-above approach to energy,” said Chris Hayden, a Hagan spokesman. “We need to make sure that energy costs for North Carolina families don’t go up.”

In a brief interview at the dinner, Hagan noted that she was ranked as a moderate senator by a Washington publication.

“I’m running right now on my record of bipartisan, common-sense results for North Carolinians,” she said. “The National Journal has ranked me the most moderate senator in the nation, which shows I can work across the aisle to get things done for North Carolinians.”

Asked what she thought of the resolutions passed by the party during the convention, Hagan said she wasn't familiar with them.

Later in the evening, keynote dinner speaker U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas congresswoman, emphasized the importance of rallying Democratic voters.

“You may not think you’re in a war, but the Tea Party thinks otherwise.” Jackson Lee said. “You gotta get in the gap and push back.”

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