I am interviewing the new Chair of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee tonight as a part of my ongoing feature titled Thursday Night Live.
Click on continue reading for a news story on his selection to be Chair of the VCDCC.
Click on continue reading to see the interview.
Thanks for taking your time to come on my blog tonight. Click on continue reading to see my first question.
UPDATE: The interview is over but click on continue reading to see it.
New officers take reins at county Democratic Central Committee
By Mike Harris
Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/jul/30/new-officers-take-reins-at-county-democratic/#ixzz0vC6pFaoT
The Ventura County Democratic Central Committee has elected new officers to two-year terms, including Chairman Richard Carter, who lives in heavily Republican Simi Valley.
The officers were elected this week. It was the fourth time in less than 10 months that a new head of the frequently factious committee was chosen.
"To have a Democrat who lives in Simi who's now in charge of the Ventura County Democratic Party, I think is very significant, not just for the county, but for the city of Simi itself," said Carter, 49, who also is president of the Simi Valley/Moorpark Democratic Club.
"You know, Simi Valley is no longer off limits for Democrats," Carter said. "It's going to be a battleground, not just in November against (Republican congressman) Elton Gallegly, but in the future for everybody. The Republicans just don't have a cakewalk anymore in the east county."
Carter, who succeeds Brian Leshon as chairman, noted that another of the committee's new officers, Treasurer Pete Brinkman, also is from Simi Valley. Brinkman is executive vice president of the Simi Valley/Moorpark Democratic Club.
"It's the first time that anybody from Simi Valley has been on the executive board that I know of, and to have two is pretty amazing," said Carter, who unsuccessfully ran for Simi Valley City Council in 2008.
The remaining new officers are First Vice Chair David Atkins, 29; Second Vice Chair Sandy Emberland; and Secretary Marie Lakin.
Carter said he believes he was elected "to try to bring peace" to the committee.
"People have tried to label me a lot of different things, whether it's a moderate, a liberal or a conservative, especially living in Simi Valley," he said. "But the bottom line is I'm a Democrat just like the rest of the Democrats.
"Our tent is a wide tent," he said. "We accept everybody who's a Democrat, from the most leftist liberal to the most rightist conservative."
Carter said his top priority as chairman "is to get Democrats elected more consistently in the county," where, starting in 2008, Democrats overtook Republicans in the number of registered voters.
Carter, a native of Nashville who has been involved in Democratic Party politics his entire adult life, moved to Simi Valley in 2003. A Navy veteran, he is the U.S./Canada quality manager for audio equipment manufacturer Harman International. He is married with two children.