|Senate leader||Dan Blue|
|House leader||Darren Jackson|
|Headquarters||220 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
|Seats in the Upper House||
|Seats in the Lower House||
The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) is the North Carolina affiliate of the national Democratic Party in the United States. It is headquartered in the historic Goodwin house, which is located in the downtown area of Raleigh at 220 Hillsborough Street.
The second party system emerged from a divide in the Democratic-Republican party in 1828. They split off into two groups, the Democrats, led by Andrew Jackson, and the Whigs. In North Carolina, people from the west and northeast supported the Whigs mainly because they wanted education and internal improvements to help with the economy. Meanwhile, Eastern North Carolina was dominated by wealthy planters who tended to oppose activist government. Over time, the Democrats slowly came to support many of the Whig policies on internal improvements. For the first time in history voters were splitting off into one of the two parties. In the 1850s the Whigs were split by the issue of slavery. Former Confederates and Whigs eventually formed the Conservative Party and opposed the reconstruction policies enacted by the U.S. Congress following the Civil War. By 1870, the two main parties were the Conservatives (who changed their name to "Democratic-Conservatives" and then to Democrats by 1876), and the Republicans (GOP).
Before the 1960s many of the white leaders of the NCDP, as was the case with most state parties in the then one-party South, supported racial segregation. But beginning with the Republicans' 1964 Presidential campaign and Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" in 1968, many with such views - such as TV commentator Jesse Helms, who went on to serve several terms in the U.S. Senate - flocked to the Republican party. Since then, the majority of minority voters have joined moderate and progressive white voters to make NCDP values consistent with those of the national Democratic party. Jimmy Carter carried North Carolina in the Presidential campaign of 1976, but from 1980-2004 the Republican nominee for the presidency won the state.
In spite of the largely conservative bent of North Carolina's politics, a number of liberal Democrats, such as Terry Sanford and John Edwards, have been elected to represent the state at the federal level. Edwards was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the wife of Republican Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole - and a one-time presidential candidate herself - was defeated for reelection in 2008 by Kay Hagan, the same year Barack Obama carried the state in his victory over Republican John McCain by a margin of less than one half of a percentage point.
North Carolina Democrats scored impressive victories in the 2006 general elections, increasing their majorities in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly and defeating incumbent Republican Congressman Charles H. Taylor. In addition, most candidates backed by Democrats in the non-partisan races for the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals were elected. These victories came despite controversies surrounding Jim Black, a Democrat and former Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. The State Board of Elections ruled that Black's campaign illegally accepted corporate contributions and checks with the payee line left blank. He pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge, after denying charges through the November 2006 election. He won re-election by just seven votes in a heavily Democratic district, but resigned from office in 2007.
In 2008, the North Carolina Democratic Party once again earned major victories in state and federal elections. For the first time since 1976, the Democratic nominee carried North Carolina in the presidential election. Meanwhile, Kay Hagan was elected to the U.S. Senate over incumbent Elizabeth Dole, and Beverly Perdue was elected governor to succeed fellow Democrat Mike Easley.
In 2010, however, Republicans swept North Carolina, taking control of both houses of the General Assembly for the first time since 1896, reelecting Richard Burr to a second term by double digits, and unseating incumbent Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge.
Bev Perdue retired as Governor and the Democratic nominee for Governor, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Walter H. Dalton was defeated in the general election to Republican Pat McCrory. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell was unseated and Reps Heath Shuler and Brad Miller both retired and their seats were gained by Republicans.
2014 saw Incumbent Senator Kay Hagan defeated for re-election and the seat of Rep. Mike McIntyre who had retired was taken by a Republican. Democrats in the North Carolina House of Representatives flipped four seats from Republican held districts in Wake and Buncombe counties. The state party also saw success in the non-partisan races for North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
In 2016, Democrats retook the governor's office, electing then-Attorney General Roy Cooper, while also electing a Democrat to succeed him as Attorney General, Josh Stein. Meanwhile, Democrats lost seats in the North Carolina Council of State, picked up one seat in the state House and lost one seat in the state Senate. Democratic nominee Deborah K. Ross lost the U.S. Senate election to incumbent Richard Burr. Democrats retook the majority on the North Carolina Supreme Court for the first time in the 21st century.
The state party chair is Wayne Goodwin, who was elected in 2017. The chair is elected by and leads the state Executive Committee, a body of more than 700 Democratic Party leaders and activists from all 100 counties, which governs the party. Aisha Dew is the first vice chair, Matt Hughes is the second vice chair, Nida Allam is the third vice chair and Melvin Williams is the secretary.
There are 46 Democratic State House members, including two vacancies that will be filled by Democrats, as per state law. Current members are listed below:
There are 15 Democratic State Senators. Current senators are listed below: