A packed room, a diverse crowd, and beautiful weather welcomed NCDP first vice chair Jonah Garson during his recent visit to Henderson County Democratic Headquarters.
Jonah is part of the completely new leadership of the state Democratic party. Their recent election has attracted national attention and has been described as an overhaul of the way Democrats do business in North Carolina. “Going forward, we’re not going to wait for demographics to turn the state blue,” Jonah told the people gathered to hear him. “And one of the ways we’re doing that is by supporting rural, red-leaning counties like Henderson. We have to hold the Governor’s seat and we have to start regaining seats on the Supreme Court. That means we need you. Your votes are important.”
The average age of the new leadership team is remarkably young; Anderson Clayton, the new state chair, is a 25-year-old who can identify with issues Gen Z voters face. While she had planned to attend the Meet-and-Greet with Jonah, she was asked by Governor Cooper to attend a rally to support his veto of a Republican-sponsored law to further restrict abortion access. Ultimately, the veto did not hold.
While acknowledging challenges such as the abortion law and the devastating consequences of losing the Supreme Court, Jonah shared a clear vision forward. Disappointments can be motivating, and he pointed out that NC has met gerrymandering challenges in the past by showing up. Other strategies he mentioned include renewed efforts to organize every county, run candidates in every race, communicate a clear message, and improve turnout among young voters and other key populations. He also noted that demonstrating local support through sustaining donations helps attract financial backing from the state and national parties.