Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Who Is This Woman?

Who is she? Perhaps a college student on campus? Or maybe an intern somewhere?

Anderson Clayton, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party

Nope. She is Anderson Clayton, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. At 25, she is the youngest state chair in the country and probably the most enthusiastic. Donald Trump won North Carolina by 74,500 votes (1.35%) in 2020 and it is going to be a huge battleground in 2024. The Democrats are putting that burden on the shoulders of this unassuming young woman. It's not going to be a breeze, even though Breeze is her legal middle name

Clayton got her job as chair by ousting a 73-year-old incumbent earlier this year. She is from the small town of Roxboro, NC (pop. 8,000). She has a B.A. in journalism and political science from Appalachian State University, where she was president of the student body and director of communications for College Democrats of North Carolina. She worked as a community organizer and as a field organizer for Elizabeth Warren. In 2021, she got three Black Democrats to run for the city council in Roxboro. She made up yard signs and knocked on 600 doors. They won and flipped the council. In 2022, she flipped her state House district. Now she is in the major leagues. Reporters have taken notice of her because she is a novelty. Democrats see her as a rising star. Maybe she could be North Carolina's answer to Stacey Abrams, but at half Abrams' age. If Biden wins North Carolina and the election, Clayton will undoubtedly get a job in his administration. Keep an eye on her.

Clayton has some ideas about how to win North Carolina. There are 562,000 college students in the state, of whom 60% are women. She wants to get them engaged and ready to vote. She believes that rural voters are not hopeless, but you have to go talk to them. She believes that on issues like health care, broadband, and some others, they actually agree with the Democrats. Clayton agrees with Woody Allen: 90% of success is just showing up. In that respect, she is going to outdo the full Grassley and personally visit all of North Carolina's 100 counties (Iowa has a mere 99). In 2022, North Carolina Democrats lost 44 seats in the state legislature because they didn't even bother to field a candidate. Clayton vows never to let that happen again.

Will her youthful enthusiasm make up for her lack of experience? It could, and might even be an advantage. All the pros know that about 80 or 90 of North Carolina's counties are hopeless, so they never show up and make their pitch. Clayton is too young to know that, so she is going to do it anyway. Remember, if she can flip 800 votes in each county, that could be enough for Biden to win the state. Actually showing up might be a good start. (V)

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