Buncombe County Democratic Party Officer Candidates

Get to know the candidates ORAVL is endorsing for the Buncombe County Democratic Party!  All delegates at the Buncombe County Democratic Convention will have the opportunity to vote on these candidates April 8th.


CHAIR NOMINEE: JEFF ROSE

My name is Jeff Rose, I’m currently the cluster organizer for West Asheville, a precinct chair, and member of the State Executive Committee.  Over the past year I’ve gained a lot of experience with how the county party is structured, how the state democratic party functions, and what the roles and responsibilities of the party in elections are.  I was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the 10th district, and have learned a lot about how Buncombe fits in to the 10th and 11th congressional districts.

I’m running for chair because right now, after a long election year with some disastrous endings, I believe the party needs to truly come together and build a stronger future for itself. Buncombe County does an amazing job of electing democratic candidates by energizing the democratic base to support our candidates, and I want to see us bring that energy to the unaffiliated voters across our county as well. We’re at the very beginning of what will be a tough election cycle, and I believe its important the next chair recognize that we need to be having conversations and listening to voters, so we can help connect our elected officials and candidates with the needs of the community.

I believe my experiences with the party in 2016, both before and after the primary, coupled with my professional experience leading teams and working with volunteers, gives me a strong understanding of how to help move the party forward.

Democrats need to fight for every vote in every precinct, and I believe one of the best ways to do that is by connecting with the community. When people know their neighbors are Democrats, it is much easier to support democratic candidates and causes. There are so many people getting involved today who have felt left out of the democratic party, or who have never had an interest in being engaged with the party between elections, and I will strive to help everyone use their strengths to grow the party. Building a strong, sustained base of volunteers all across the county will enable our party to support democrats in every race, both in 2018 and beyond. I will also encourage new and creative ways to communicate with voters, not just before elections, but after our candidates are in office as well.

Buncombe has a unique position to play in Western North Carolina as we look to the 2018 elections. I will work with other counties to identify ways we can help elect more democrats to the State House and Senate, all across the region. I believe collaboration is the best way to take back the state legislature back, help Governor Cooper advance his agenda, and allow our legislators to fight for the policies we want, rather than constantly defending against harmful laws like HB2.

For other questions please contact Jeff directly at jeffrey.e.rose@gmail.com.


1st VICE CHAIR NOMINEE: DENISE MARECKI

Hello I am Denise Marecki, running for First Vice-Chair of Buncombe County Democratic.

I held the position of Get-Out-The-Vote Coordinator (GOTV) for Buncombe County during the 2016 Election. In that position, I did the following:

  • Coordinated Poll Greeter Volunteers for 20 Early Voting Sites for 16 days.
  • Directed precincts to coordinate volunteers for their voting sites for Election.
  • Assisted in the coordination the distribution of Democratic ballots printed for poll greeters, newspaper publications and direct mailings.
  • Distributed a weekly newsletter to campaign staff, precinct officers and volunteers to improve communication during the election.
  • Coordinated volunteers as runners, poll monitors and oversaw the Drivers to Polls effort.
  • Communicated and coalesced with Coordinated Campaign.
  • I was previously the 39.3 Vice-Chair, Fairview.
  • Launched and administrate the Facebook Fairview Dems Group.
  • Worked as part of a team to organize Fairview, “Meet the Candidates” event, Sept. 2016. Invited all local candidates.

I am running for this office because I feel that this the best and most effective way I can express my values as an American and as a humanist.  I value education, the environment, health care accessibility for all, livable wages, voters’ rights, fair and compassionate treatment of immigrants and refugees, support for the mentally ill and much more. And with this position, I can help to organize and guide others in supporting the election of Democrats that espouse the Democratic platforms and progressive agendas. My role as the GOTV coordinator, as outlined above, has prepared me for this position.  I hope to use my leadership, creative and organizational skills to promote democratic and progressive principals.

The primary responsibilities of the 1st Vice-Chair are the GOTV effort and cluster/precinct organization. From my GOTV experience, I would like to see a highly developed overall strategic plan. It would focus on communications, including social media outreach, a tactical use of resources, and efficient methods of organizing volunteers. With regards to cluster/precinct organization, I would like to promote greater diversity, both in general and with diversity of thought among party members. Working with cluster and precinct leaders is key here as well as outreach in the community. My ultimate goal is to increase the numbers and engagement of our party members so that collectively we can all make a difference.

For other questions please contact Denise at denise.marecki26@gmail.com.


3rd VICE CHAIR: LINDSAY FURST

My name is Lindsay Furst, and I am running for the position of Third Vice Chair of the Buncombe County Democratic Party. Since 2013, I have been a county- and state-level organizer for progressive causes and candidates, focusing on public education. I was a featured speaker at Moral Monday in Raleigh in 2013 and Asheville in 2014. A founding member of NCAE social justice caucus Organize 2020, I co-led the 2014-15 We (Heart) Public Schools campaign, among others.

I bring experience securing television, print, social, and earned media, coordinating with outside groups and elected officials such as Senator Terry Van Duyn. My advocacy work has included giving interviews, sitting on panels, and speaking at events.

A veteran teacher, I excel at untangling complex concepts and explaining them in clear, simple terms, a skill critical to the communication and outreach component of this position. My leadership style blends experience running equitable classrooms and years of strategically steering actions through NEA’s legislative body, resulting in a focus on fair collaboration and process. I have lived and taught in Asheville for 10 years. After spending most of that time in West Asheville, I now live in Haw Creek with my partner and our four children.

Why I’m running for office: I am running for this position because I know that listening, communication, and outreach are absolutely crucial to our party, especially now. We need to be bringing people in, helping them feel relevant and connected. It must be clear to anyone what the Buncombe County Democratic Party stands for and is doing. For turn-out, engagement, and growth, the party must earn buy-in from members and communicate opportunities for action and connection.  Hopefully, I have clearly stated my qualifications in my answer above.

I plan to convene a Communications Committee, bringing in anyone with skills in any form of media– from writing and editing, to design, to a better understanding of Snapchat than I have– to make sure we are casting the broadest net possible with the clearest message in order to strengthen our cause, to strengthen our party, to save our country.

For other questions please contact Lindsay directly at lkfurst@gmail.com.


TREASURER NOMINEE:  KEITH THOMSON

Keith Thomson, Buncombe County Democratic Party Treasurer since January of 2016, State Executive Committee Member, and Precinct Chair at Black Mountain Elementary, is running for a full term as Treasurer.

I have been a small business owner providing information systems design, installation, and  long-term support for small businesses, professional offices, and non-profit groups since 1995. I am proud to help people who help people.

As a long time Buncombe area community volunteer, parent of two graduates of public schools, and advocate for civil and human rights, clean air and water, clean energy, and liberty and justice for all, I ask for your support to continue to serve you as Treasurer. 

As the convenor of the monthly Buncombe Dems HQ Volunteer Lunch– held on the first Wednesday of each month at NOON– I remain committed to keeping our doors open for building a stronger and healthier community, aimed to elect Democrats to defend our values, to implement good government, to protect our environment, support our children and their teachers and staff in our public schools and Community College, and to stimulate economic opportunity.

With your support, I pledge to continue nurturing — carefully spending, accounting for, and maintaining compliance with election laws — our numerous small donations, to provide our headquarters to serve Democrats, to elect Democrats, and to foster volunteer participation, team building, and friendly, cooperative improvement and implementation of our strategic 80 Precinct GOTV strategy.

For other questions please contact Keith directly at keith@mountainscape.com or 828-215-4650.


Think you might be interested in running for office?  Read the job descriptions here then contact us to let us know you’re interested.

Vote on these candidates – in addition to 108 new resolutions – at the county convention April 8th!

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