Anderson Clayton

Next Up Awardee

​​The Next Up Award is presented to a young, up-and-coming leader who pushes boundaries in the face of many challenges and folks standing in their way. This leader does not wait to be asked but steps up and takes their chance – knowing that the price of inaction is too high. This recipient knows that while they follow in great footsteps, their path will allow others to join them, continuing to grow and diversify the progressive movement. 

This year, we award this to Anderson Clayton, Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Anderson Clayton is an American political activist who serves as the current chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Elected at 25 years old, Clayton is the youngest chair of a state political party in the United States. She is intently focused on bringing rural voters back into the Democratic Party and building a stronger support base to turn the tide in North Carolina and provide a roadmap for other states.

Clayton’s political work began with registering voters while an undergraduate at Appalachian State University. As a sophomore, she was elected Student Body President and served from 2017-2018.

After graduating, she worked on Kathy Manning’s congressional campaign. In the 2020 election cycle, she worked in Iowa as a field organizer for the presidential campaigns of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren and then for the Senate campaign of Amy McGrath in Kentucky.

We are excited to see how she advances her state and the country and are honored to recognize her with this award.