Two men who promise to heal the party hope to be elected Mecklenburg County's new Democratic chairman tomorrow night.
Joel Ford, 39, and Pender McElroy, 69, are both running for the job that David Erdman left a month ago. Erdman's resignation came after the party's messy election of Nick Mackey as sheriff, an election later overturned by the state party.
"There's a leadership void right now in the party and we need a unifier," says Ford, a paving contractor. He's been active in the party and ran for Charlotte City Council in 2005. He was a 2004 fellow with the N.C. Institute of Political Leadership.
McElroy is a Charlotte lawyer whose party involvement has come more with financial support for candidates than in grassroots politics. Records show he's given more than $31,000 to local and state candidates since 1992 and $9,500 to federal candidates. That includes $1,000 to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Members of the Mecklenburg Democratic executive committee meet tomorrow night at Piedmont Open Middle School to elect a new chairman. Other candidates may emerge.