YDs yesterday, today and tomorrow

Published March 21, 2024

By Gary Pearce


Young Democrats are bringing new energy to the North Carolina party this year, but that’s only one reason I keep an eye on them.

YD leaders today tend to become NC leaders tomorrow.

I found this clip from The News & Observer, October 6, 1968, about that year’s state YD convention in Fayetteville. Reporter Dick Brown wrote:

“Retiring YDC President Jim Hunt is the man to see for a well-organized, efficiently run convention.

“Permanent Chairman Phil Carlton is a quick man with a gavel. He kept a ponderous session moving with a minimum of effort.”

Hunt and Carlton (photo circa 1986) are long-time friends who kept things running and moving for years, Hunt as lieutenant governor and four-term governor, and Carlton as a District Court judge, first secretary of the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, Court of Appeals judge and associate justice of the Supreme Court.

They’ve been a hell of a team, for the Democratic Party and for North Carolina.

I hope today’s YDs emulate them.