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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The chairman of the North Carolina Democrats says his party will return to leading the state through building grassroots support again and by calling out Republicans for pushing what he calls a reactionary agenda.

Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller also blasted GOP legislators Thursday for doing nothing to create jobs in the state and focusing upon peripheral issues such as firing members of state boards and commissions.

The party's state executive committee narrowly chose Voller as chairman last weekend over former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge.

Voller said he wants to continue the party's progressive vision, recalling past party heroes such as Terry Sanford and Frank Porter Graham.

Democrats lost majorities in the General Assembly in the 2010 elections and ceded the Executive Mansion to Republican Pat McCrory in November.

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