Statesville attorney David P. Parker will keynote Cleveland County Democrats’ annual convention, to be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 13, in the auditorium of the county office building at 130 S. Post Rd. in Shelby.
A “Carolina Country Breakfast” fundraising event will be held just beforehand from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the same site, honoring longtime Democratic leader Mary S. Accor of Grover.
Keynoter. Parker, left, is one of the state’s best-known Democrats. His three decades of party work reach from his days as a local precinct chair to managing a U.S. Senate campaign to his just-concluded term as chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Parker’s experience and typically entertaining and energizing speaking style will underscore the convention theme, said Nick Carpenter of Shelby, county party chair.
Theme. That theme is “The future is ours to shape”—looking particularly toward the 2014 general election when Democratic candidates will be on the ballot for the U. S. Senate, state legislature, and local offices such as county commissioner and sheriff. “We’ll come out of convention organized and ready to start on the new campaign cycle,” Carpenter said.
Agenda. Key business agenda items are the election for two-year terms of local party officers and county members of the NCDP state Executive Committee. Also to be elected are county delegates to the 10th Congressional District Democratic convention, to be held May 10 in Shelby.
All Dems welcome. Voting at the convention will be those elected delegates at Democratic precinct meetings held earlier this month. However, Carpenter said, all interested registered Democrats living in the county are eligible and encouraged to attend, and the annual convention is typically a festive gathering of elected officials, experienced and new volunteers, and party leaders past and present. There is no cost to attend. ”If you’re interested in knowing more or volunteering to advance our party’s ideals, come to convention and sign up,” Carpenter said.
Auction. The convention also will feature Democrats’ annual auction of items contributed by party members, typically including home-baked cakes and cookies, plants, and crafts. This year the auction’s proceeds will go to the Democratic Women of Cleveland County, handling arrangements for the sale.
Fundraising breakfast. The general public is invited to attend the pre-convention Carolina Country Breakfast honoring Mary Accor, left. The cost is $20 per person for the meal, payable at the door. Advance reservation is not required but highly recommended to ensure a place. Reservations may be made online here or by contacting the CCDP secretary by phone at 704.457.9840 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tribute to leader. The breakfast program will pay tribute to Ms. Accor for more than 30 years’ leadership in education, local government, and community stewardship. She retired in October 2012 as director of the office of school readiness for the Cleveland County School System, concluding a lifelong educational career in posts from teacher to principal to administrator. Ms. Accor also served 15 years on the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners, including terms as vice chair and chair, and is a former president of the N. C. Association of County Commissioners. She’s an active member of St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church, serving as deaconess and teacher.
“Mary has always seen ‘servant leadership’ as a calling she describes as putting others before self,” said Todd Hagans of Kings Mountain, county party treasurer handling event preparations. “A milestone is a good time to recognize and appreciate,” Hagans added, “even as Mary’s calling continues and so will her contributions in the years ahead.”