The N.C. Main Street Democrats – a group of self-described moderate, pro-business legislators in the House and Senate – has added three lawmakers and enlisted the help of 21 former legislators to serve as a board of advisors.
House members Tricia Cotham and Kelly Alexander, both from Mecklenburg County, and Rep. Susi Hamilton of New Hanover County say they are part of the group. All three voted with Republicans in support of the House budget last week.
The Main Street group also announced this week that the ex-lawmakers will attend political briefings and help with strategy. Main Street Democrats formed this session to shift the party in a “more centrist” direction focused on business issues, according to its co-founder, Rep. Ken Goodman.
“Our goal is to build the Democratic Party by working to win elections where we haven’t been successful in the past. We want to compliment the House Democrat Caucus with a policy and political arm that will supplement our current efforts,” said Rep. Goodman.
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He praised his former General Assembly colleagues for getting involved. “These are former members who understand the political dynamics and know what it takes to win in tough districts,” he said in a news release.
Goodman formed the group as rural, moderate Democrats have become an endangered species of sorts, due in part to redistricting. Many of its members, however, hail from urban areas of the state.
Main Street Democrats has a website and has released video and opinion articles by its members. Its efforts are funded by a Political Action Committee.
The new board of advisors includes:
▪ Former House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman of Lexington
▪ Former House Majority Whip Andy Dedmon of Earl
▪ Former House Majority Whip Marian McLawhorn of Ayden
▪ Charlotte mayor and former Sen. Dan Clodfelter
▪ Former Sen. David Hoyle of Gastonia
▪ Former Sen. Michael Walters of Lumberton
▪ Former Sen. Gene McLaurin of Rockingham
▪ Former Sen. Bill Purcell of Laurinburg
▪ Former Sen. Don Vaughan of Greensboro
▪ Former Sen. George Daniel of Yanceyville
▪ Former Rep. Linda Coleman of Knightdale
▪ Former Rep. Ray Rapp of Mars Hill
▪ Former Rep. Cullie Tarleton of Boone
▪ Former Rep. Bruce Goforth of Asheville
▪ Former Rep. Gerald Arnold of Lillington
▪ Former Rep. Ray Warren of Hiddenite
▪ Former Rep. Ronnie Smith of Newport
▪ Former Rep. Jim Crawford of Oxford
▪ Former Rep. Russell Tucker of Pink Hill
▪ Former Rep. Nelson Cole of Reidsville
▪ Former Rep. Alice Bordsen of Mebane