North Carolina Goes Blue for the First Time Since 1976
Left: A celebratory dinner North Carolina-style: Hickory Smoked pulled pork bar-be-cue, cole slaw and hushpuppies purchased from Allen and Son BBQ in Chapel Hill, NC, and homemade Carolina Blue-state potato salad, made with blue potatoes. Yum!
For the first time since I have been able to vote, North Carolina has gone Blue, electing a Democratic Presidential candidate. The final tally was very close. In fact, the race was so close that the results were not known until 2 days after the general election. However, the verdict is now officially being reported.
In addition to the Presidential victory, we unseated Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole with a victory for Democratic challenger, Kay Hagan. This victory is particularly sweet to me as this is the first time since I have been able to vote that Jesse Helms or his hand-picked political successor has ever lost an election in North Carolina. When I used to travel for work, I would meet people from all over the world. On telling them that I hailed from North Carolina, their response was almost inevitably "Jesse Helms! Why??" This was particularly true on meeting friends in the gay community.
We have a long tradition of Democratic Governorships and this year is no exception with the election of Bev Purdue. Also, the Democratic Party has been able to maintain a rather good stronghold on other Council of State offices. Not all of the candidates that I supported were successful, but the vast majority of them were.
I am particularly proud of North Carolina, my home state, because as I approach my 50th birthday, I have seen the state grow more and more progressive. As a child, I lived through segregation and integration of the public school system. I can remember going to a medical clinic where there were separate waiting rooms for "Whites" and "Coloreds" Now I can proudly say that my state helped elect our first African-American President. My seventh grade history teacher, Larry Bell, was one of the young African-American men who sat in defiance at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro in the 1960's to protest segregated eating establishments. He now figures prominently in the North Carolina Legislature having just won reelection for yet another term and has held the office of Majority Whip of the NC State House in the past. I wish him the best and congratulate him on his latest victory.
The votes for many of these latest races were closely contested, but in the end, Blue victory was ours. I guess the truth is that we are more Purple than Blue. Nonetheless, for the first time in my life as a voter in North Carolina, I feel the pleasure of victory and the great pride in knowing that my fellow Tar Heels are becoming more open to change.
God bless the Old North State.
Categories: politics electoral+college President Elect Barack Obama North Carolina ballot vote election blue+state