Sen. Don Vaughan of Greensboro is the first Democrat to announce he's seeking his party's chairmanship in the wake of the Jay Parmley fiasco.
"I've been encouraged to run by Democrats across the state," Vaughan said this afternoon. "I've years of experience to move the party forward."
Vaughan is a two-term senator who has also served on the Greensboro City Council.
If elected at a State Executive Committee meeting on May 12, Vaughan would take over for David Parker, who faced calls for his resignation due to how he handled a harassment scandal involving former party executive director Jay Parmley.
Parmley was accused of harassing a young male staffer. Parker arranged for a settlement with the staffer in question but allowed Parmley to continue serving.
Initially, Parker refused to step away from the unpaid post. But faced with calls from national democrats and Gov. Bev Perdue, Parker relented and said he would step down once a successor was chosen the weekend after the North Carolina primary.
Asked if the Parmley scandal would hurt the next chairman's ability to organize volunteers and gather campaign donations, Vaughan said, "I don't know."
Whoever is elected will be responsible for coordinating efforts to support candidates chosen in the May 8 primary.