Montgomery named a House Democratic leader


Montgomery named a House Democratic leader
December 20
13:27 2018

The N.C. House Democratic Caucus freshmen members have elected Ashton Clemmons and Derwin L. Montgomery as co-chairs of their freshmen caucus.

Derwin L. Montgomery, who is part-owner of The Chronicle, was appointed to N.C. House District 72 in late 2018 and then won election to a full term.  Representative Montgomery is the senior pastor of the First Calvary Baptist Church and executive director of Bethesda Center for the Homeless. He has served on the Winston-Salem City Council since 2009.

Since his election to the council at age 21, he has helped create affordable housing polices, increased minimum wage for city employees and oversaw the largest public-private investment in the city in a generation.

“We have a large freshmen class, both Republicans and Democrats,” noted Rep. Montgomery.  “I am excited to work with all of them to bring balance back to state government and work on common-sense policies like expanding Medicaid to help hundreds of thousands have better access to health care and boost hospitals struggling to serve those without insurance.”

Ashton Clemmons won election to N.C. House District 57 in Guilford County.  Rep.-elect Clemmons has been a teacher, a principal, and, most recently, the assistant superintendent of the Thomasville City Schools.  She has led the turnaround of one of the state’s lowest performing schools and been named one of the Triad Business Journal’s “40 Leaders Under 40.”

“North Carolina was once a leader in education in the Southeast and a national leader in early childhood education,” declared Rep. Clemmons.  “We need to become a leader again and that starts with accelerating public education investments and building an economy that works for more of our state.  Better schools and jobs lead to better lives for our students and their families.  I look forward to working with our freshmen members and the N.C. House as a whole to move our state forward.”

The 18-member House Democratic freshman class is nearly one-third of the House Democratic Caucus and 15 percent of the entire House of Representatives.  House Democrats picked up 10 seats in the 2018 elections and will hold 55 seats in the next legislative session, more than enough needed to sustain vetoes, defeat constitutional amendments, and prevent legislatively called special sessions.

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