Like our state’s longleaf pine forests, rational and nuanced political discussion is increasingly hard to find in North Carolina.

That’s why Longleaf Politics exists.

We are dedicated to cutting through the destructiveness of today’s broken media to help North Carolinians be smarter citizens.

We cover policy, not protests. We’re about solutions, not hyperbole. 

Our email newsletter is Longleaf’s primary product, delivering up original reporting and insightful analysis each week. We also publish explainer stories on the web breaking down the issues of the day. If you’re a news junkie, you’ll find that Longleaf Politics’ style is a melding of Axios, Wonkblog and Vox — but focusing solely on the state of North Carolina.

Here are some of our core beliefs:

  • We believe in civil debate.
  • We believe moderation is not a dirty word.
  • We believe in the marketplace of ideas.
  • We believe people can disagree without one side being evil.
  • We believe in decency and respect.
  • We believe that both Republicans and Democrats can have good ideas. Independents, too.
  • We believe that to do is much more difficult and valuable than to criticize from the sidelines.

Our team

Andrew Dunn is the founder and publisher of Longleaf Politics.

He is currently the editor-in-chief of Charlotte Agenda, responsible for content at a fast-growing local news startup and part of the management team making strategic and financial decisions. The move to digital journalism came after a decade as a reporter and editor at newspapers including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington.

Dunn is a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and former editor of The Daily Tar Heel. His work at has been cited numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.


Brian Francis is president of Francis Consulting Services,  a strategic communications firm that helps businesses, governments and non-profits achieve their strategic goals through effective communications.

He launched the country’s first online redistricting tool as part of the 2011 Mecklenburg County Commission redistricting and recently was chief strategist on the successful $920 million Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bond campaign.

Michael Cooper is an attorney and writer in the foothills of North Carolina. His work has appeared in  National Affairs, U.S. News, The New Republic, Scalawag, The Winston-Salem Journal and Our State.

The Appalachian State alum is also co-chair of the New Leaders Council in North Carolina.

Interested in writing for Longleaf Politics? We are always looking for smart, open-minded journalists who can bring insight to the people of North Carolina. Email Andrew for more details.