Dannie Montgomery has joined the race seeking to become the next Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. You may remember Dannie Montgomery. She was the First Vice Chair of the state party for six years, four of those alongside former party chair Jerry Meek but that ended in 2009.
Montgomery and Meek had a falling-out at some point and tension was clear between them when Meek's would neither back nor endorse Montgomery in her 2009 bid for chair. Instead, Meek backed David Young. We haven't heard much from Montgomery since then but that changed yesterday when Montgomery emailed her campaign announcement to hundreds of "executive (party) members" seeking their support and votes.
"I am passiionate (sic) about the Democratic Party and your support in my campaign will be priceless to the state of North Carolina. My greatest strength lie in my blending of leadership styles that incorporate what are seen as traditionally male and female traits: vigor, hard work, kindness, rigorous discipline, integrity, creativity, inspiration, and much more." Montgomery adds, "I am available for a meeting, forum, or conversation at your convenience and look forward to discussing the future of the North Carolina Demoratic Party and your endorsement. We took a "shulacking" in the 2010 election and 2012 will not be a repeat performance."The Anson County democrat and teacher listed her numerous positions served in various democratic party ranks (county chair, 1999-2005, 8th congressional district chair in 2004, lost a run-off election for county commissioner, Larry Kissell campaign team member, etc.) and her awards (3x teacher of the year at her school). No real specifics on how she'll engage or activate the party's base.
- Dannie Montgomery
Montgomery's pitch did point out the failures of the mid-term elections as belonging to the current state party administration. "We have a problem. You and I are the solution. The NC General Assembly is in Republican hands after a century of Democratic leadership and the attacks have already begun. This takes place at a time when we have a Democratic Governor and a Democratic President leading our state and country. Now is the time to address the challenges of the 2010 elections with new leadership, vision, skill, and renewed determination to place NC government back in the hands of the people who have a proven record of success for the people of North Carolina."
Unfortunately, Montgomery's candidacy could cause more harm than good. By running as a late-entry and third option, she could be an election spoiler and hand her "frenemy" and nemesis Meek's candidate a narrow victory. Then again, the backlash against Meek is palpable inside the party. People are fed up with his egotism that he actually controls the party.
Still, politically savvy insiders know Montgomery has plopped herself into a strategic and favorable position. By entering the race now, Montgomery knows that should she come in third place (and she will), she is perfectly poised to be courted, caucused and a**-kissed by her fellow chair candidates for her endorsement before the next voting round. If Montgomery's as smart as we think she is, she'll plan to drop out early and throw her support (and her supporters' votes) to David Parker, the stronger leader of the two candidates.
And wouldn't that be a cold, hard slap in the face to Meek?
Montgomery should consider dropping out of the chair race and instead run for her old job against Stella Adams who's record of success is anemic at best. Better yet, Montgomery might want to challenge second vice chair Delmas Parker for his seat. Either way, Danny Montgomery is going to impact this party election one way or another.
Lets hope it's for the better.