North Carolina Democrats have been gerrymandered into a small minority for the upcoming session of the North Carolina General Assembly, but they sent a strong signal yesterday with their selection of a new House Minority Leader that they will not be rolling over in front of the expected conservative onslaught.
Rep. Larry Hall of Durham was an obvious and encouraging choice (though colleagues like Rep. Rick Glazier of Fayetteville and Deborah Ross of Raleigh would have been eminently capable as well). Hall is a decorated Marine Corps vet, a smart lawyer, a gifted public speaker, and a committed progressive. While he and his colleagues will have few inside-the-General Assembly tools at their disposal to combat the conservative majority, his selection spurs hope that progressives will be developing principled and creative ways to shift the debate outside of the Legislative Building. Hall is a leader that progressive North Carolinians should watch closely and get to know.