Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy announced today, Nov. 15, that she’s running for Congress in the 10th District, which the North Carolina General Assembly redrew earlier this year to include most of the city.
The 10th District, which stretches eastward all the way to Gaston County, is currently represented by the powerful four-term Republican, Patrick McHenry, of Cherryville. If Bellamy wins the May Democratic primary, she’ll likely face him in the November 2012 general election. Observers have said the demographics of the new district seem to favor a Republican.
Here’s the press release from Bellamy announcing her run:
Asheville, NC—Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy announced today that she is running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District. Bellamy has served as mayor of Asheville since 2005, and is running for Congress on her record of creating jobs, finding pragmatic solutions that increase access to affordable housing and reducing violence.
“Washington is broken, and people are tired of watching the bickering and political posturing while businesses and families are struggling,” said Terry Bellamy. “As mayor, I’m expected to get results and we should expect no less from our Representatives. It’s time to send some people to Congress who can get the job done, and put North Carolina and the country back to work.”
A lifelong resident of Asheville, Bellamy is married to Lamont Bellamy and the mother of two children, Seth and Imani and her nephew, Keithan. She is the first African-‐American and the youngest person elected mayor of the city. In 2009, she handily won re-election to a second four-‐year term.
Bellamy said jobs would continue to be her top priority. Most of the counties in the district have double-‐digit unemployment and have been hard hit by trade policies that sent manufacturing jobs overseas.
“We need to refocus our priorities and stop outsourcing our jobs,” said Bellamy. “Instead of looking at companies’ bottom lines, we need to look at families’ bottom lines. We need to make serious investments in education that give our people the skills to create a workforce that attracts new industries and keeps those that are already here.”
As mayor, she developed a reputation as a business-friendly leader who is also focused on affordable housing, decreasing gang violence and keeping children in school. She serves as a member of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Land-‐of-‐Sky Regional Council, and the Metropolitan Sewage District Board. She was appointed to the 21st Century Transportation Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on Housing and the North Carolina League of Municipalities Board of Directors.