Under the Dome

Pro-business Democrat caucus forms

A group of 12 Democrats in the General Assembly have formed a pro-business alliance, hoping to give the minority party a bigger voice in jobs, education and community investment legislation.

The N.C. Main Street Democrat Caucus announced its creation Wednesday, on the first business day of the new two-year session.

“This caucus will promote common-sense policies that improve the day-to-day lives of our citizens,” Rep. Ken Goodman said in a news release. “We are going to promote a platform that is attractive to pro-business, Main Street voters.”

Goodman represents Richmond, Hoke, Montgomery, Robeson and Scotland conties.

The caucus also plans to create an independent expenditure committee to help elect pro-business Democrats to the legislature.

Goodman said the group would focus on making sure that “traditional North Carolina Democrats” find a place in the General Assembly, after having lost a number of middle-of-the-road legislators in recent elections.

The caucus includes a number of newly elected representatives.

Besides Goodman, who is the chairman, the caucus includes: Rep. Ken Waddell from Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties; Rep. William Brisson from Bladen, Johnston and Sampson counties (who has frequently broken ranks to vote with the GOP); Rep. George Graham of Craven, Lenoir and Lenoir counties; Rep. Ed Hanes of Forsyth County; Rep. Michael Wray of Halifax and Northampton counties; Rep. Brian Turner of Buncome County; Rep. Gale Adcock of Cary; Rep. Brad Salmon from Harnett and Lee counties; Sen. Jane Smith of Columbus and Robeson counties; Sen. Joel Ford of Mecklenburg County and Sen. Ben Clark of Cumberland and Hoke counties.