Democrats plan to kick off a platform process this month that will culminate in September, when delegates at the party’s national convention in Charlotte ratify a document highlighting President Barack Obama’s priorities for the fall campaign.
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has been tapped to chair a drafting committee that will hold a national hearing July 27-29 in Minneapolis.
Co-chairing the full Platform Committee, which will discuss the draft platform Aug. 10-12 in Detroit, will be Newark, N.J., Mayor Corey Booker and Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy (Ret).
One issue expected to be discussed: a marriage equality plank that would put the Democratic Party on record as supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage.
On Thursday, the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee announced the members of not only the platform committees, but also panels that will be in charge of convention credentials and rules.
The Carolinas are represented by N.C. State Treasurer Janet Cowell of Raleigh, one of four vice-chairs on the Credentials Committee; N.C. Sen. Dan Blue of Raleigh, on the Rules Committee; and Diane Robertson, a non-profit and business consultant in Cary, another member of the Rules Committee.
The Rules Committee will be co-chaired by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Heading the Credentials Committee: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the African American Methodist Church.
The Platform, Rules and Credentials committees will all meet the weekend before the convention in Charlotte.
Elected officials, party activists and labor union representatives filled most of the membership slots.
State Democratic Party chairs coming to Charlotte this weekend
State Democratic Party chairs and vice chairs from across the country will convene in Charlotte on Friday and Saturday.
They’re expected to get briefings on the upcoming convention – and a tour of the various venues.
This summer meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs will begin with a business meeting Friday morning at the Hilton Charlotte Center City. Tim Funk
Huckabee endorses Pittenger in 9th District Republican runoff
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has endorsed Republican Robert Pittenger, a candidate in Tuesday’s 9th District congressional runoff. It’s not the first favor the former Arkansas governor has done for him.
In 2008 Pittenger, then a candidate for lieutenant governor, was on the dais eating lunch at the state GOP convention in Greensboro. Somebody cracked a joke and Pittenger started laughing. Part of his lunch lodged in his throat.
Huckabee, the keynote speaker, heard the commotion and rushed over. He performed a Heimlich maneuver that cleared Pittenger’s throat.
“To me this is just typical Mike Huckabee,” Pittenger said at the time. “He’s just a decent fun guy who cares about people.” Jim Morrill
Santorum backs Hudson in 8th District GOP runoff
Former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed Richard Hudson in his July 17 Republican runoff with Scott Keadle. Both are vying for the chance to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell in November.
With both Keadle and Hudson trying to claim the conservative banner, the nods from Santorum and, previously, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee could help Hudson win crucial votes from evangelical voters in the 8th Congressional District.
“Richard is the full-spectrum conservative in this race,” Santorum said in a statement. “He is not just an economic conservative, but he is an unabashed defender of life and the traditional family.” Tim Funk