|Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 14th district
January 8, 2009
|Preceded by||Vernon Malone|
|Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate|
March 2, 2014
|Preceded by||Martin Nesbitt|
|Member of the North Carolina House of Representatives|
April 18, 1949 |
Robeson County, North Carolina
|Residence||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Alma mater||North Carolina Central University, Duke Law School|
Blue was the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1991 until 1994, when the Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans. Blue was the first--and to date, only--African American to hold the post of Speaker in North Carolina.
From 1998 to 1999, Blue served as the first African-American President of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
He sought unsuccessfully to regain his position as Speaker when the Democrats got back the majority in 1999, by forming a coalition of Democrats and Republicans that fell two votes shy of a majority. Blue remained in the House until he ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2002, in which he came in second place behind nominee Erskine Bowles and ahead of Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall.
Blue returned to the practice of law and was hired by Jeanne Bonds (former Mayor) to be a lobbyist for cities on energy issues affecting working families.
He was selected by his local Democratic Party to return to what was essentially his former seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, after his successor, Bernard Allen, died while running unopposed in the November 2006 election. Democrats also voted to allow Allen's votes in the election to go toward Blue.
Governor Mike Easley, obligated to accept the nomination of the party, appointed Blue to the legislature on November 2, 2006. He served the remaining months of Allen's term and then took his seat for a full term in January 2007.
In 2009, Blue was selected by local Democrats to take the place of Sen. Vernon Malone, who died in office. He joined the Senate on May 19, 2009. In 2014, Blue was elected Senate minority leader by his Democratic colleagues when Sen. Martin L. Nesbitt had to step down abruptly due to health issues. Blue was elected to a full term as minority leader after the 2014 elections.
Blue graduated from North Carolina Central University and the Duke University School of Law, establishing a law practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. His daughter Kanika, who graduated from Enloe High School, Duke University and the Yale Law School, currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She is married to Jeff Capel, former University of Oklahoma basketball coach and, as of May 2011, an assistant coach at Duke. His son, Dan III, ran for North Carolina State Treasurer in the 2016 elections.
Blue serves on Duke University's Board of Trustees and was elected chairman in 2009. He was the first African American to chair Duke’s board.