NC Democrats change course, vote to recognize Jewish Caucus

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RALEIGH — The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) had voted to officially recognize a Jewish Caucus within its ranks.

“We held an important vote tonight to officially recognize the Jewish Caucus and to send a message that the Democratic Party will always be a big tent party,” said Chair Anderson Clayton in a press release. “It was incredibly important to us to call this meeting to ensure the Jewish Caucus gets official recognition.”

Clayton continued, “In a time of divisiveness and heightened emotions and fear, I am proud that tonight we made sure to go into 2024 united. The North Carolina Democratic Party stands against Islamophobia, antisemitism, and any form of hatred against marginalized communities.”

The vote took place on Dec. 3 and is a reversal from a Nov. 12 vote in which the party rejected the Jewish Caucus. The vote was 16 in favor and 17 against, however, a total of 16 leaders did not vote at all including Clayton.

Party spokesman Tommy Mattocks blamed “procedural issues” for the votes against the caucus.

WFAE reported after the initial vote that some Jewish Democrats questioned whether the party had been taken over by “the anti-Jewish left.”

The president of the NCDP’s Progressive Caucus Ryan Jenkins said in an interview with the Charlotte radio station, “they have done nothing but whine and play the victim and attack people, and we are sick of it.”

The story of the NCDP’s rejection of a Jewish Caucus along with Jenkins’ remarks had already made national news by the time the NCDP issued a statement. Jenkins has reportedly been removed from his position.

Mattocks issued a statement distancing the NCDP from Jenkins that said in party that Jenkins “doesn’t speak for the party.”

Jenkins later apologized, saying, “I realize I chose my words poorly and should have been more exact.” He also said he was sorry if what he said was seen as “playing to antisemitic tropes about secret cabals and other racist nonsense.”

Neither Clayton nor the NCDP have issued a statement condemning the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel.