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Democrats' Voller says party HQ can't be treated like 'frat house'

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina Democrats are lookingto raise money to fix up the state headquarters, located in a historic house onRaleigh's Hillsbrough Street.

"The Goodwin House is an historic asset for the people of North Carolina anda wonderful gathering place for Democrats"  Democratic Chairman RandyVoller said in a statement.

But, Voller said, "The building needs to be treated with love and careand not like a Frat House. All Democrats need to rally and support the ‘buildingfund' in order to make the Goodwin House shine as a beacon to all citizens whocare about the values that we support." 

Fixing the neo-classical house is one of only many challenges for theDemocrats, who promoted Casey Mann to executive director Sunday at a meeting inGreensboro.

Mann has been serving as interimexecutive director since February. Mann had served as state director untilRobert Dempsey was fired after less than a year in the job.

The party considered Ben Chavis, oneof the Wilmington 10, for the position of executive director but backed offafter concerns were raised in the party.

Mann's appointment comes at acritical time for the Democrats, who have seen their influence drop to historiclows. The Republicans hold the governor's chair and vast majorities in bothhouses of the General Assembly.

Republicans also hold nine of 13Congressional seats and are aiming to knock Democrat Kay Hagan out of theSenate.

"We are at an institutional disadvantage," Mann said. "We are dealing withthe gerrymandering of districts, the dearth of seats in power and the abatementof tax check-off money, which was an asset to our Party operations for decades.Any business or entity with such broad scale demands would have to rebuild,revamp and renew itself.

"But that doesn't mean you walk away.  That means you stand up andfight for what you believe in, and I believe in the North Carolina DemocraticParty. I am willing to step up and fight for our values."

The Democrats suffered another lossin recent days when Senate leader Martin Nesbitt, one of the most outspokencritics of the McCrory administration, died suddenly from stomach cancer.

Mann has extensive politicalexperience. She worked as a volunteer in the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004,managed Ed Ridpath's run for the North Carolina House in 2006 and latermanaging the student newspaper at UNC-Greensboro.

She worked as a regional fielddirector for the Triad for the Democrats beginning in September 2012 and becamestate director in February 2013.

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