State Politics

NC Democratic Party elects diverse leadership team

From left, N.C. Democratic Party secretary Melvin Williams, chairman Wayne Goodwin, first vice chair Aisha Dew, second vice chair Matt Hughes and third vice chair Nida Allam.
From left, N.C. Democratic Party secretary Melvin Williams, chairman Wayne Goodwin, first vice chair Aisha Dew, second vice chair Matt Hughes and third vice chair Nida Allam.

The N.C. Democratic Party overwhelmingly elected former insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin as its new chairman Saturday, and it also picked a diverse group of party officers to join him.

Goodwin received 92 percent of the vote during the party’s convention in Rolesville, a sign the party likely won’t have divisions it’s faced in years past. Goodwin lost his re-election bid for insurance commissioner in November.

The other leaders elected Saturday represent a variety of demographic groups as well as both major Democratic presidential campaigns: Two supported Hillary Clinton in last year’s primary while two backed Bernie Sanders. Some party members said the group is the most diverse slate of officers in the party’s history.

The new first vice chair is Aisha Dew of Charlotte, who was Sanders’ campaign manager in North Carolina and is African-American.

The second vice chair is Matt Hughes, who served as the chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party and is gay and biracial.

Nida Allam of Raleigh was elected as third vice chair. She is Muslim and also worked on the Sanders campaign last year. “I look forward to moving the party forward, and working to create a better and safer America for ALL Americans!” she wrote on Facebook after the election.

Melvin Williams of Duplin County was re-elected as the party’s secretary.

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