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Pittsboro mayor elected NC Democratic chairman

Posted February 2, 2013

— Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller is the new chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, barely turning back a last-minute push by former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge.

Members of the State Executive Committee meeting Saturday in Durham elected Voller over Etheridge by a vote of 309-298.

Voller, the grassroots choice, had been publicly running for two months and appeared to be the only candidate when former state Sen. Eric Mansfield dropped out last week.

But Mansfield supporters sought Etheridge to run and he was nominated. Etheridge visited the Durham Convention Center but left before the meeting got started.

Voller succeeds David Parker of Statesville and arrives on the job after Democrats sustained heavy losses in the 2012 elections. Parker's tenure was marked by controversy over his handling of sexual harassment allegations against the party's former executive director, Jay Parmley.

Voller said in his nominating speech he's ready to win the battle of ideas and campaigns.

Establishment candidate Nina Szolsberg-Lewis was named the vice-chair Saturday after defeating incumbent Gwen Wilkins 408-175.

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