Looking ahead: lively 2017 county convention sets the stage

 (News release 04-10-2017)  

In annual convention Saturday (April 9), the Cleveland County Democratic Party elected leaders, honored several Democrats who’ve meant much to the community, and gathered participants’ input on the party’s path forward.

Approximately 70 attended the convention at the County Office Building auditorium, They included delegates elected at recent county precinct meetings, Democratic elected officials, and other party supporters, reported Chair Joyce W. Sheaffer, who concluded her term in office at the convention’s end.

Returning as CCDP’s new chair is Nicholas C. (Nick) Carpenter of Shelby. He previously was named to the office in 2012 to fill a vacancy, then was re-elected. He has worked in Democratic politics since his high-school years, having served previously as District 10 chair of Young Democrats of North Carolina and chair of the YDC’s North Carolina Rural Caucus, and as CCDP’s third vice chair. He was elected a district delegate to the 2014 Democratic National Convention and participated as one of its youngest delegates. In advance of the 2016 general election, he was a field organizer in the N. C. Democratic Coordinated Campaign in Raleigh.

“We have a great challenge and a great opportunity,” Carpenter said. Noting the convention’s theme, “Determined in vision and energized to succeed,” he called on Dems to build on the hard work of prior years and reach out to enlist others concerned with the state of affairs in Raleigh and Washington. “We are seeing that grassroots voices will be heard if we speak together,” he said.

Other officers elected to new two-year terms and their precincts are Joyce M. Coleman of Shanghai, first vice chair; T. Todd Hagans of Kings Mountain South, second vice chair; Andrew (Drew) B. Leon of Shelby Central, third vice chair; Elizabeth (Lizzie) N. Kim of Shelby Central, secretary; and Doris W. Williams of Oak Grove, re-elected treasurer. 

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Click here for more news and photos  about awards at the convention.

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Named as Cleveland County members of the North Carolina Democratic Party’s State Executive Committee (SEC) are Carpenter, Coleman, Hagans, Steve Padgett of Casar and Jerianne Queen of Lawndale. Also elected were county delegates to the Tenth Congressional Democratic Convention. This event, with participants from seven counties, will be held May 20 in Shelby at the Cleveland County Schools Staff Development Center Building at 400 W. Marion Street. Betsy Wells of Grover is Tenth District Democratic Chair. 

At Saturday’s convention, those attending took part in a dialog session that Moderator Hagans made both “enlightening and entertaining,” Ms. Sheaffer said. Specifically considering Cleveland County Democrats, table groups discussed and reported “who we are” characteristics, political issues of most concern, and suggestions for the party’s going forward in the current new election cycle. 
The party recognized several with awards named to characterize their long-time contributions to community and party. Honored were Dean and Carolyn Westmoreland of Grover, Courage of Convictions Award; Mary Accor of Grover, Stepping Up Award; the Rev. Robert E. Devoe of Shelby, The Steadfast Award; Mary Degree of Shelby, The Dynamo Award; and Jack and Ruby Hunt of Lattimore, The Heart Award. 

The convention received written greetings and a call to action from Wayne Goodwin, recently elected chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. And during the proceedings, Patsy Keever of Asheville, his immediate predecessor as state party chair, stopped by to encourage Cleveland Democrats to build on growing momentum with active support and advocacy. 

A lively fund-raising auction of donated items held in in partnership with Democratic Women of Cleveland County, which will use this year’s proceeds for its campaign support activities.

Greetings: Pat Poston, left, congratulates new CCDP Chair Nick Carpenter. She's the outgoing acting secretary.
New officer slate: Todd Hagans, second vice chair; Nick Carpenter, chair; Lizzie Kim, secretary; Joyce Coleman, first vice chair; and Drew Leon, third vice chair. Doris Williams, not shown, is treasurer
Auction: Todd Hagans and Betsy Wells combined to lead a fast-moving auction of donated items at the convention, raising funds this year for Democratic Women of Cleveland County. Thanks go to donors and buyers!

Hagans also led a lively dialog session among participants at table groups as a focus of the agenda. They provided input as to "who we are" as local Dems, issues concerned about, and suggestions for the party's going forward.

Commenter: Doug Sharp, right,  was recognized to speak at the convention on the status of state and local elections board composition. He serves now as a Democratic member of the Cleveland County Board of Elections.

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