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Keever seeks state Democratic chair

Former state representative and current North Carolina Democratic Party 1st Vice Chair Patsy Keever of Asheville announced her candidacy for party chair on Wednesday.

"The next two years will be a critical election cycle for North Carolina," Keever said in a statement. "Everything is at stake."

Keever's candidacy comes at a low point for North Carolina Democrats, who hold are in the minority by a count of 34-16 in the state Senate and 74-46 in the state House, and after last week's election fell to just three North Carolina congressional seats, down one. The Democrats also lost what was thought to be a winnable hold when House Speaker Thom Tillis defeated first-term Sen. Kay Hagan.

"From the White House and the Governor's Mansion, to the General Assembly and all the way down the ballot to local races, North Carolina Democrats have an obligation to stem the tide against Republican assaults on our middle class, public education, and women," Keever said.

"We need to recruit strong candidates, organize a grassroots voter outreach program, and raise the funds necessary to communicate with voters. As a county commissioner, state representative, and party leader, I know what it takes to win elections. I'm ready to put my experience to work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2016, and that's why I'm running to be the next Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

"Our state party is blessed with hard-working volunteers and grassroots supporters from Murphy to Manteo. It's time they had a Chair working on their behalf to win races and fight for North Carolina's working families. I look forward to listening to Democrats across the state to hear their ideas and hopes for our party."

NCDP officers, including the chair, will be elected at the February meeting of the State Executive Committee (SEC) in 2015.

Patsy Keever taught in public schools for more than 25 years and served on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners for 12 years. In 2010, Keever was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives from NC District 115. Keever has served as the 1st Vice Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party since 2013. She lives in Asheville.