North Carolina Democrats
Turmoil in North Carolina's Democratic Party has been no secret, thanks to some salacious details leaked to the press from a staffer's sexual harassment complaint in 2012. The party's then-executive director, Jay Parmley, resigned after accusations from another male staffer but denied any wrongdoing. The party chairman eventually left as well.
In March, current chairman Randy Voller described the party as "broke" and said it was evaluating whether to shut the doors on its Raleigh headquarters. As a result, Sen. Kay Hagan's campaign is running its coordinated efforts with the largest county Democratic Party organization in the state, in Wake County. Republicans in Nevada did a similar thing in 2012 to avoid another Paul-aligned state party leadership.
Republicans hope to run a competitive Senate race here, nominating socially moderate neurosurgeon Monica Wehby to face Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley. Unfortunately, the party infrastructure hasn't been much of a force in many years, Oregon Republicans say.
"They have not been particularly well-funded the past couple of elections," said Oregon Republican consultant Bob Moore. "The party is not a major force in electing Republicans in the state and it hasn't been in a number of years. I honestly don't remember the last time they were a force to be reckoned with. If anything, they've sometimes been a pass-through for the [Republican National Committee]."
The party is led by Chairman Art Robinson, who is running for office for the third time in the 4th District after two failed bids in 2010 and 2012. He's generated some unwanted headlines for the party by soliciting urine samples from the public for his medical research.
RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said the national committee was placing staff and resources in the state who would work alongside the state party — but not around it in any way.
The Alaska Republican Party is also rebuilding after a change in leadership. In April 2013, former chairwoman Debbie Brown was the second of two Paul-aligned party leaders to be ousted from the position; she was replaced by current chairman Peter Goldberg.
The committee had planned to remove Brown for failing to raise money, but in the meantime, she changed the locks on the party headquarters during a snowstorm and threatened to arrest anyone who attempted to enter. She was voted out from an Anchorage office complex.
Kukowski said the RNC had established a good working relationship with Goldberg leading up to the state's big Senate race and had sent a communications director up specifically to work with the state party ahead of its late primary.
Alaska Republican political consultant Art Hackney agreed that progress had been made within the state party, but said national groups' help was limited because of the extensive ground game required to compete in Alaska. He credited national Democrats for contributing to their side's sophisticated targeting operations rather than just pouring money into generic national TV ads.
Kukowski said the ground game for Alaska Republicans was still in the works. She pointed to a new precinct program with hundreds of precinct leaders armed with new technology. She said the RNC has been working to build out a field program over the last year with offices and a growing staff presence.