List of Announced Candidates
Learn more about the announced candidates below!
Candidates listed have notified NCDP of their official candidacy. Photos and statements published as provided by candidates. This information is not an endorsement by the North Carolina Democratic Party; the Party is committed to complete impartiality in the 2023 State Officers’ Elections and working to provide an equal and fair platform for each candidate.
Candidate’s Personal Statement: Candidates have been advised that going over the 150 words maximum will result in their statement not being published on this landing page.
Candidates for State Party Chair:
My name is LeVon Barnes, a 18 year public school educator, founder of youth empowerment movement, fellow SEC member, and most importantly the father of Harper, my 7 months old baby girl and my reason for all that I do now. My many years in leadership as a teacher, collegiate basketball coach, union leader and chair boards within the party and out have made me a unique candidate for State Party Chair.
Our party needs an injection of energy, of realignment of our ideals, transparent, collaborative and open leadership and finally someone who’s gonna stand up to the bully pulpit in the form of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. I’m running because I’m a bridge builder and someone who can unite our big party and knows that when Democrats win it comes from strong precincts, a fierce ground game, passionate volunteers and consistent communication from the leadership.
The people closest to the pain deserve to be closest to the power, and Democrats across our state have felt powerless for far too long. That’s why I’m running for State Party Chair, because as a longtime political organizer, I know how to win, the importance of local, year-round organizing, and the desire for a party that speaks to the needs of all North Carolinians.We need direct investments in our communities from the bottom up, because local organizing is the foundation for a Democratic comeback in North Carolina. A comeback that begins with local level races for school boards, county commissions, and town councils across our state.As your party chair, I will work to strengthen our party from the county level up. I will be accessible to all Democrats – every member of the SEC, elected official, and candidate.You can join our movement at claytonforcarolina.com.
Dr. Bobbie Richardson
Hello Democrats! Gazing into the rearview mirror of our ’22 election, there are many lessons we have learned. While we give thanks for electoral successes: among them electing seven Democrats to Congress, maintaining Governor Cooper’s veto, and flipping local seats, we must also be brave and face our disappointments asking what each of us can do to secure additional Democratic victories. How do we increase black voter turnout? How do we improve voter engagement? How do we reach our rural voters?
I am proud to be your State Party Chair and thankful for your support! Together, we launched NCDP’s first-ever year-round organizing, voter protection, and community engagement teams, yet there is still so much to do!
I am humbly asking for your vote again because NCDP needs an experienced leader to tackle the problems we face and continue building a strong foundation for 2024. Read My Plan at: www.BobbiesPlan.com.
North Carolina Democrats were optimistic about the midterms, but suffered disappointing results. The consensus: we must organize more quickly, leave no legislative races uncontested, and turn out our base more effectively.
During my 30-year Marine career, I developed a unique skill set — refining bureaucracies to make organizations efficient and effective. As a Colonel, I provided leadership during eight combat tours, working with folks from around the world to problem solve while dealing with inherent cultural barriers. I led with honor, courage, and commitment to those under my command.
I served two years as Brunswick County Democratic Party Chair and was a candidate for the NC House. My county and campaign outperformed statewide trends.
I have the experience to strengthen our organization in North Carolina’s 100 counties. With your support, we can make a top-down, inefficient state party a winner, guided by the principles and convictions of Democrats statewide.
Candidates 1st Vice Chair:
Town: Chapel Hill
I’m tired of losing. I bet you are, too. Those of us who have been working hard to win a Democratic North Carolina know that we need Party reform, yesterday if not a decade ago. This means:
•Paid year-round, statewide organizing.
•A national search for an executive director with institutional reform experience.
•Robust fundraising and budget transparency.
•Effective coordination with county parties and campaigns.
•Better messaging and messengers.
•Plans for engaging with students and communities of color.
•Resources for voter registration.
•A clear strategy to support our judicial candidates.
•Proactive union contract negotiations.
•A strategic plan with honest success benchmarks.
Our Democratic revival will require trust, imagination, and willingness to change. As an NCDP leader, I pledge to leverage years of organizing, fundraising, and lawyering experience to the cause, and to continue to be the mission-driven workhorse you know me to be. I hope I can earn your vote.
Floyd B McKissick Jr.
It’s been my privilege and honor to serve as your First Vice Chair over the past 2 years. I thank you for that opportunity. I’ve meet with and assisted community leaders and County organizations from Wilmington to Morganton to build the political infrastructure we need to elect democrats across our State.
While this year’s elections provided mixed results, we were successful in electing 7 Democrats to Congress and helping Governor Cooper to sustain his veto. Working together collaborative, strategically, with mutual respect we can turn NC blue. I have served as a County Chair in both Durham and Warren counties as well as 8 years on Durham City Council, 13 years in the State Senate where I received numerous awards for my advocacy on significant issues, and as Chair of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus. I’ve also served as a member of the State Executive Committee and the Executive Council.
Candidates for 2nd Vice Chair:
Dr. Kimberly Hardy
My name is Dr. Kimberly Hardy, I am currently the Second Vice President of the Democratic Women of North Carolina, and I believe in electing Democrats!
Our party’s greatest strength is our people. Through my service on the boards of Lillians’ List and the New North Carolina Project and as a past President of the Democratic Women of Cumberland County, I have seen how empowered and equipped staff and volunteers make the difference for our candidates and our communities.
I have been on both sides of election night and I know that it’s teamwork that makes the difference. Here’s my promise to you:
If selected to serve as one of your party leaders, I will work with the rest of the State Executive Council so we can listen, engage, accelerate organizing and fundraising across the party, and deliver Democratic victories up and down the ballot.
Let’s elect Democrats!
I’m NCDP’s current Second Vice Chair, CFO of a progressive statewide nonprofit, and Mayor Pro-Tem of the Town of Hillsborough. I have dedicated my career to helping elect Democrats and making North Carolina the beacon of progress in the South. And I have the proven track record of recruiting candidates, raising money, training activists, working with local parties, and winning elections. No one is satisfied with the results of last year’s elections. While we’re sending the most Democrats to Congress in over a decade and protected the Governor’s veto, we lost the Supreme Court. We have much work to do. I’ve listened to your anger and your concerns about our party. My candidacy is focused on five key areas: reforming our party, restoring our partnerships, redefining our role, refocusing our message, and retooling our strategy. We can make NCDP better by working together.
The 2022 results were underwhelming. We lost seats in the Supreme Court and our Governor’s veto hangs by a thread. Unaffiliated voters now outnumber Democrats in the state and the youth vote in NC did not turn out when they overwhelmingly supported Democrats in other states. Our rural and marginalized communities feel abandoned.
We must recommit to the basics of democracy in the party and make the party stronger by representing people’s interests.
I’ve been a life-long Democrat, a human rights activist and serve the party on the SEC, the Resolutions and Platform Committee, formerly on the Plan of Organization Review Committee, on the board of the Progressive Caucus, co-founded the Progressive Democrats of Mecklenburg County and volunteer for my precinct and local candidates.I am running for 2nd Vice Chair to ensure that we have a party that represents NC interests from the grassroots up.
Candidates for 3rd Vice Chair:
When I look back at the eight cycles I have worked in NC politics, I feel enriched. 2023 will be a critical year of building in preparation for the 2024 Presidential Election. Once elected to serve our state party in this position, I will ask our state chair to assign me duties dealing with increasing our influence on college campuses and working family communities.
As a White House Political Strategy and Outreach Stakeholder, I will be aiding President Biden and Vice President Harris in their 2024 re-election bid to the White House. Therefore, I will assume responsibility in helping build the campus organizing operation a part of the coordinated campaign throughout my term.
This will continue our investment in vital assets that will provide our state party with increased voter turnout in communities where it matters most. It will be vital that our infrastructure on college campuses is strong.
As a candidate who has served as a Precinct, County and District Chair, I understand how our party works inside and out. Our structure isn’t complicated, but there are a lot of moving parts. A veteran of several Council of State, Judicial, and Congressional races, I understand the way campaigns and the Party work together. We have a lot of newer County Chairs and local leaders that haven’t been as exposed to it. I want to be the resource you need to be successful in turning out the vote and helping to win elections from City Hall to the Halls of Congress. If elected, I’ll ask the State Chair to assign me a portfolio that includes being your go-to for local Party Affairs. For 20 years I’ve been a successful resource for the counties in the 3rd District, now I want to help you too.
A loyal Democrat since voting age, Elijah King, a Durham native, has served the Durham County Democratic Party as a County Executive Member, 3rd, then 1st Vice Chair of the 4th Congressional District, and a State Executive Committee member. Elijah has committed to building up county parties and auxiliaries across his district, supporting chairs and organizers, and building strong Democratic communities in North Carolina. As a young, black, gay male, Elijah will bring unique and innovative perspectives to the Executive Council and aim to restore respect, vision, and trust within the NCDP. Once elected, Elijah would ask the Chair to assign me roles on messaging and engagement with college campuses, working communities, and minority communities, which are the backbone of the party and make it what it is. Elijah would also request that the Chair assign a liaison role to communicate between affiliated youth auxiliaries and the Executive Board.
Candidates for Secretary:
SEC Members across the state have been saying they want Melvin Williams to continue serving as our State Party Secretary.
That is why Melvin announced for re-election on November 11th – three days after the General Election.
Melvin brings strength, enthusiasm, and goodwill to the Secretary’s position. We need him to continue working for us!
In 2011 Melvin created the popular GOOD NEWS ABOUT DEMOCRATS newsletter which draws attention to the activities and achievements of organizations and individuals in our Democratic family. Everybody loves GOOD NEWS!
Real dedication: During Melvin’s time as Secretary, there have been 89 State Party meetings at which he was scheduled to take minutes. Melvin has been present at every one of those meetings and he has focused on writing accurate minutes.
Let’s keep making GOOD NEWS and let’s keep voting for Melvin Williams!