Thursday, November 06, 2008

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.



Anonymous Ashley Sue Allen of Green Grounded said...

Amen. A promising future, a new vibe, and a proud NC milestone for many of us. Cheers to a piece of history we could be a proud part of.

11/08/2008 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

I was in North Carolina for the first time this year for, what else? NASCAR's All-Star Race.

Didn't know much about the politics, but (a) it was absolutely beautiful, (b) the people were friendly - life is at a whole different pace there and I was "ma'am" to everybody! Manners still exist! and (c) No one here in CA believes me when I say that the fried chicken in NC does NOT taste like the fried chicken here. It's REAL chicken in NC! I made sure to have biscuits and gravy and collard greens while I was there.

I had never been back East. My daughter wants to move to NC (thanks to Nicholas Sparks) and I think I'll encourage it.

Beautiful country, beautiful folks!

And congrats on all the victories this November. : )

11/23/2008 01:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


4/03/2009 03:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron. I really enjoyed your piece on the old school at Delway. I never got the chance to go inside. Your family moved to the texaco pretty soon after i moved to the neighbourhood. I just want to know how much i cherish your family. I never went to the store or the resturant that i didnt feel like family. In fact as much as your dad saw to it that i had food to eat he may have thought my wife and me were family. I always paid my bill but it was a kindness he didnt have to extend. Your moms hamburgers and milkshakes were legendary. Really miss having such a wonderful family in the area. Sorry to hear of your sickness. Wish u the very best.

8/25/2009 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

What a kind comment! My dad had a way of helping folks that was very quiet. It wasn't until his death that I learned how much he influenced some of the people in Delway that I had known all of my life.

Thanks for the encouragement. I wish you well (and wonder who you are!)


8/25/2009 08:19:00 AM  

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