Candidates for District-11 Chair
I am humbled to receive a nomination for NC-11 District Chair. I believe NC-11 has the grit and determination to lead North Carolina Democrats to victory in the coming years. As some of you may know, I am an environmental engineer who stepped up to fight the Republicans who are destroying our democracy, picking the pockets of our poor and working class, and stealing our most precious natural resources. As an environmental engineer working in water and wastewater infrastructure design for rural municipalities, my success depends on my ability to build and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders, including elected officials, city and county managers, plant operators, and contractors. My husband and I also own and operate a small auto repair business in Arden. Our ability to survive as small business owners depends on our ability to plan, communicate, and take care of our customers and employees. I believe my lived experiences will help me serve you.
As your NC-11 Chair, I will fight for the poor and working class, I will work to protect our environment, and, more than anything, I will organize day and night to bring people together to defend our democracy. We have a long road ahead. We must raise money, recruit and support candidates up and down the ballot, and communicate clearly and effectively about the ongoing changes to our election laws to ensure that no person is denied their right to vote. We must ensure that our county parties and precincts have the resources, information, and support they need to do the hard and necessary work of organizing in every community. And we must do all of this in coordination with our state party, the NC-11 board, county leadership, and hardworking volunteers.
Those that know me know that you can count on me to show up, engage, listen, collaborate, and work hard. With your support, I am committed to serving in this position until we get the job done.
Candidates for District-11 1st Vice Chair
As District 11 First vice-chair my responsibilities include planning and coordinating all district executive committee meetings and conventions as well as district wide organizing and fundraising events. In today’s world that looks a little different than what we’re used to, but I know that if anyone can come together, it’s Democrats. I also preside over executive committee meetings and conventions in the absence of the chair. If you see me calling a meeting to order, don’t be surprised, you’re in the right place. The biggest part of my role however, is acting as a support system to our chair and the rest of our board. We’re in this together. We’re here to serve District 11 Democrats, from voters to county officers and volunteers to candidates and nominees.
Candidates for District-11 2nd Vice Chair
Born and raised in Madison County, I’ve spent the majority of my life in Western North Carolina. I’m proud to call myself an alumni of Madison High School and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, where I first found an interest in turning my passion for politics into a career. I graduated in the summer of 2020 from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a double minor in American Studies and Women and Gender Studies. While attending college, I participated in both Model United Nations and NC Student Legislature which taught me extensive knowledge in state and foreign policy, research and writing skills, and public speaking. I also completed a fellowship program with Campus Vote Project and was able to improve voter turnout, engage students with educational information on UNC Charlotte’s campus, and most importantly – helped to keep polling locations open on campus.
Outside of academics, I have spent my time organizing with the Young Democrats of North Carolina. I am the former Executive Vice President and Western Regional Director for the Young Democrats of NC (YDNC) and current President of Buncombe Young Democrats. I have seen the inside operations and day to day functions of a grassroots led political organization, and I know first hand the amount of work and skill required for success. While working with the Young Democrats, I have had the opportunity to organize college campuses; put together fundraisers for local charities, candidates, and organizations; manage social media accounts; take executive board minutes; plan and execute voter registration efforts; staff tabling shifts, recruit volunteers, and other administrative duties. Additionally, I have been a major fundraiser for the Young Democrats of North Carolina, helping to raise over $40,000 since being involved.
This past election cycle I worked on the North Carolina Coordinated Campaign as a Regional Organizing Director, where I oversaw a team of seven to turn out a historic number of voters in 14 Western North Carolina counties. I recruited volunteers, executed canvasses and phone banks for candidates, and helped to facilitate the most doors knocked in the state of North Carolina in Western NC during 2022.
All of this leads to me where I am today. Helping the people of Western North Carolina to live a better, more healthy, and equitable life is my life’s mission. I believe I can take all of the skills I’ve learned from working on campaigns and organizing the Young Dems to help us all prepare for 2024 and beyond. I want to help usher in a new era of rural, youth empowerment in Western NC, and that starts with organizing and investing in all of NC-11.
(828) 775 - 2232
My name is Shon Urbas. I am excited to be running for 2nd Vice Chair of NC 11. I am a lifelong Democrat and resident of Edneyville, Henderson County.
My first political experience in the district was running data for a campaign during the last congressional primary. During those months traveling the district, I really developed a love for Western North Carolina. So much so that I decided to set down roots. One of the first things I got to was organizing the Edneyville Precinct and currently am serving my 2nd term as its Vice Chairman. Running my precinct’s first Get Out the Vote in recent history was one of the highlights of the last election cycle for me.
Professionally I work in Information Technology and have for 25 years. The last 6 years I have served as Chief Technical Officer and founder of a company that specializes in data integrations. With this new role, I plan to use my experience working with people and data, to optimize and distribute the resources that each country brings to this district. These resources may include training, volunteers, organizing help, printing, candidates, financial, or planning capacity.
Among my first tasks I will set for myself is to meet with all of the county's 2nd chairs and understand their needs on training and data products to more effectively get out the vote.
By coming together and supporting each other this district can be Blue in 2024. But no one county is enough. It will take all of us. Thank You for your consideration.
Candidates for District-11 Third Vice Chair
Karen has served as Third Vice Chair since 2019. A lifelong Democrat and a resident of Macon County she also serves as Union Precinct Chair. This position has been and is ever evolving position as which began with a rudimentary newsletter and we now have an informative and regular news platform and alerts when necessary to call District 11 Democrats to action. Karen launched a new website in 2022. Karen has maintained communications between the counties and the NCDP keeping the District 11 website current including the events calendar, the county pages, the annual gala and Ramsey Award page, the annual convention page, and including this candidate page, among others. Karen also manages all District Social Media accounts. This year we also launched a discussion zoom for the District 11 SEC and District Officers and the County Chairs and First Vice Chairs to meet and discuss more in depth issues affecting Western North Carolina.
Karen Albig Smith
Candidates for District-11 Secretary
Lorna Barnett has invested several years as Secretary with the District 11 Democratic Party because she believes the District Party can be integral in electing a Democratic Congress and helping to bring issues and candidates to County Parties. Lorna has worked at precinct, county, district and state levels in various capacities and brings an institutional understanding of the process and a desire to reach for new goals in new and exciting ways.
She would like to continue serving as your secretary for a couple more years as part of the District 11 officers working as a team, sharing the discussions, the decisions, and the workload in a way that has been productive and rewarding.
This far-western District is unique, and state-wide messaging and processes don’t always fit with our needs. The District team will always be searching for ways to make it work here in the mountains. District can also work to connect counties that share issues or problems and even assist when counties lack resources or funds.
“I believe I've done a good job as your Secretary and will continue to do so, if you choose to elect me again.”