(pictured above: Ken Spaulding is running for governor.)
Ken Spaulding, a former member of the N.C. House of Representative, and others are upset about N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller’s seeming coronation of Attorney General Roy Cooper as the next governor of North Carolina.
Spaulding, a Democrat who announced his plans to run for governor in 2016 several months ago, rebuked Voller for statements he allegedly made during the N.C. Democratic Party Convention on June 7 in Raleigh. In a letter, Spaulding blasts Voller for appearing to endorse Roy Cooper as the “next governor” before the people of the state have had an opportunity to choose their party’s nominee.
“In my opinion, it is not a good example for our party chairman to endorse or announce anyone as ‘the next governor’ of North Carolina until the people of this state have made their own decisions through the electoral process,” said Spaulding. “The ignoring of people’s voices and choices are the reason why so many of our citizens are fed up with partisan politics and politicians.”
Willie Fleming, president of the African American Caucus of the N.C. Democratic Party, is also criticizing Voller.
“… Members of the AAC-NCDP expressed dissatisfaction when you mentioned Attorney General Roy Cooper as the state’s ‘next governor’ several times. Kenneth Spaulding, an African American Democrat with a strong political history in North Carolina, has filed and is currently running for governor but was not mentioned,” said Fleming. “As president of the AAC-NCDP, it is my duty to say we would like to see all African American candidates treated with equal respect and not have the state chairman predicting primary outcomes almost two years away.”
Spaulding, a long-time Durham attorney, is hoping to make history in 2016 as the state’s first black governor. Cooper has long been considered a viable contender to current Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
Unlike Spaulding, the attorney general has not yet said if he will run for governor. Fleming fears that the dismissal of black candidates by party leaders, will discourage other blacks from seeking high-level offices.
“We must remain vigilant to ensure African Americans have the same opportunities to succeed in this state’s political process as other North Carolinians,” Fleming said.