By: Andrew Porter
Last week, I wrote a post about how the local Democratic Party is setting fire to the “big tent” philosophy of the Party by endorsing judicial candidates with a questionnaire vetting process; instead of endorsing all Democratic candidates like they have in the past.
The folly of this approach can already be seen in the selection process for the vacant City Council District 2 seat. The Cumberland County Democratic Party executive board decided very early in the selection process, before all candidates were known, to support Fayetteville State Attorney, Patricia Bradley. A mistake that ultimately cost Democrats the seat. Don’t get me wrong; Mrs. Bradley is a fantastic candidate and more than qualified for the position. However, when you select your player without knowing the game, you’re bound to lose.
The Party thought they were playing a game that they couldn’t lose. A game where they could double down on one candidate, but at the end of the day, a Democrat had to be selected. It’s what’s done and has been done for years, even on the non-partisan council. The Party underestimated the allure of the second place argument; an argument that Dan Culliton, the Republican runner-up to Tyrone Williams, should be appointed. An argument that would not carry any weight in party politics, but a viable option to a council becoming increasingly adverse to said politics. Moreover, Councilwoman Tisha Waddell posted this on Facebook last week:
“I believe that the level of partisanship (prejudice in favor of a particular cause; bias. synonyms: bias, prejudice, one-sidedness, discrimination, favor, favoritism, partiality, sectarianism, factionalism) in our society is so very dangerous. We are divided and deliberate in reinforcing that division.”
Councilwoman Waddell is registered unaffiliated and represents a majority Democratic district. She voted for Dan Culliton yesterday, and I fully expect the Party to target her seat next year. An unfortunate development as she would have made a great Democrat; not to mention all the other Democratic nominees that have been alienated by the Party’s early adoption of Bradley.
The Party will have to do some soul searching after losing this City Council seat.
Foremost, the strategy of adopting one Democratic candidate above all others. This Fall’s local judicial elections will be its next test. Hopefully, the Party will hit the reset button before the next game begins
About the Author: Andrew Porter is a resident of Fayetteville. He has been an adviser and manager of several local and and state campaigns, with a W/L record of 11-2. He is undefeated in “non-NCGA-gerrymandered districts,” believes proper BBQ is served with coleslaw and vinegar, and is finishing his second year as a legal eagle at North Carolina Central.