I wanted to take some time out of my busy campaign schedule - I'm visiting at least five different towns today - to talk to the communities that have fertilized the soil for our grassroots campaign.
I've been endorsed by E-Quality Giving, the nation's largest online LGBT donor community, and I'm currently leading my closest competitor for their PAC endorsement by a 3:1 margin - though that doesn't mean you shouldn't drop by and cast your vote.
Hillary Rosen, a member of the Democratic National Committee and major donor to Democratic and LGBT causes, added her voice to ours when she endorsed my candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
"I am a steely-eyed cynic when it comes to supporting a candidate just because they are gay. They need to be able to win. This guy can win. He knows what it will take to win this seat and has already made an impressive start. The grassroots activity being generated in North Carolina for their upcoming primary is huge and Jim is right at the forefront of the organizing... make no mistake about it - this race is not symbolic - it's winnable. Jim isn't just making history; he is helping to define our future."
I've also been endorsed by Ambassador James C. Hormel. Nominated as the country's first openly gay Ambassador by President Clinton, Hormel's appointment to Luxembourg spanned June 1999 to December 2000. Ironically, Hormel's appointment was opposed by then-Senator Jesse Helms. Come January 3rd, I'll be sitting in Jesse's seat.
Other high profile supporters include Senator Bob Kerrey, Nobel Prize nominee and founding member of the National Black Justice Coalition Mandy Carter, contemporary artist Ross Bleckner, former UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Paul Hardin, former Carrboro mayor and the first elected openly-gay mayor in North Carolina Mike Nelson, gay Chapel Hill Council member Mark Kleinschmidt and hundreds of supporters from across the country who have invested their time, energy, and money, often in low-dollar contributions to our effort.
A little over a week ago, our campaign earned the endorsement of Blue America PAC, a progressive, online community composed of the high-profile blogs Crooks & Liars, Firedoglake, Digby's Hullabaloo, and Down with Tyranny. They are paving the road to a grassroots, people-powered democracy, and I was happy to join them to talk about the race on March 1st.
The blogosphere doesn't just like what I'm saying - they're impressed by what our campaign is accomplishing. According to respected North Carolina blogger Ed Cone, "The Jim Neal campaign seems to be redefining the art of grassroots politics in North Carolina" with a inventive, unique plan to reach out to North Carolina's democratic activists on the precinct level. Our grassroots approach is paying off, and I'm happy to announce that I've taken the lead in the most recent SurveyUSA poll of the Democratic Primary.
Our message of citizen-driven democracy is resonating with voters. We're traveling all over the state and we're using the best new technology to connect with people. Everywhere, people are saying they want to take their government back from the special interests and career politicians. They're tired of politics-as-usual and they're ready to act. When we get our message out, we win. And thanks to the support of regular citizens who are donating 5, 10 dollars, whatever they can afford, we are able to get our message out. Diverse communities are converging for change, and I thank all of you who have combined your efforts with ours. This is the year that you'll get to vote for what we want - so I'm doing my best to represent the change you want.
Check out our campaign at jimnealforsenate.com!