The Fading Meck Co Democratic Party

Need more evidence that the local Democratic party is in disarray? Look no further than this big ball of crazy they call picking a new sheriff. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Roscoe P. Coltrane threw his name in the hat.

To back up: Democrat-in-name-only Jim Pendergraph ("I didn't leave the party; the party left me") resigned to take his vendetta against illegal immigrants to Washington D.C. By rule, since he hasn't finished his term, the local party gets to choose his successor. Cue the theme song to, I don't know, a show about crazy, mixed-up politicians.

First, according to one of my sources, party elder Parks Helms apparently got wind of a possible sheriff successor that he felt (rightly, I might add, if the name I heard was true) has no business running the jail (which is primarily what the sheriff does). So he proposed, without first chatting up Pendergraph, hiring a "professional jail administrator" to run the lockup. Which would mean that, essentially, the sheriff would have nothing to do. Pendergraph and his crew did not like that idea, a fact they made abundantly clear through the media. So county commission chairwoman Jennifer Roberts called a press conference to shut it down.

Pendergraph's number-two man, Chipp Bailey, quickly emerged as the logical choice to serve out the sheriff's term. He promised to uphold Pendergraph's ways, which did not sit well with many Democrats, who stopped liking Jim for reasons mentioned in paragraph two. So a new guy, Nick Mackey, emerged. This is a guy who apparently resigned in disgrace from CMPD (he won't release his records, but news stories show he was up for either demotion or firing at the time, and chief Darrel Stephens has said he would not be welcome back on the force), and he wants to be sheriff. And, of course, he networked properly and even Bailey admitted that he would likely win.

In the meantime, party chair David Erdman convened a special committee to look into each candidate's backgrounds, apparently because he didn't trust them (or at least, one of them) to be forthcoming on their own. Now there's what you want in a sheriff. 

So now there's ANOTHER new Dem in the race, two days before the selection. Warren Turner is a city councilman who serves as a state probation officer. He thinks Mackey is the wrong guy for the job (really?). Turner seems like a nice enough guy, but he hardly has the credentials to be sheriff. And you can be sure that a faction of the party convinced him to enter the race. If you're counting at home, that's at least three factions.

And people wonder why the Dems can't seem to find a worthy challenger for Mayor Pat McCrory. 

Categories: Trade & Tryon > Business