Democrat Hayden Rogers, the longtime chief of staff to Rep. Heath Shuler, announced Feb. 8 that he plans to run for congress, hoping to gain the 11th District seat currently held by his boss. The announcement comes less than a week after Shuler announced his plans to retire after his current term ends in January.
Last year, Republican leaders in the N.C. General Assembly drew most of Buncombe County’s Democratic voters out of the 11th District, hurting the chances of any Democrat winning election. The new 11th District stretches from western Buncombe County to the western tip of the state. Rogers will be up against Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell in the May 8 Democratic primary. A group of eight Republicans are also fighting to represent their party in the November election.
Here’s the full announcement from Rogers:
Hayden Rogers Announces Candidacy for Congress
Former Shuler Chief of Staff to Seek 11th District Seat
Brasstown, NC –Hayden Rogers, a Robbinsville native and longtime chief of staff to Congressman Heath Shuler, announced his candidacy for Congress today for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District.
“It has truly been an honor to work on behalf of Western North Carolina alongside Congressman Shuler for the past six years. As a proud North Carolinian, I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue fighting for the families across the 11th District,” Rogers said. “I have seen first-hand how broken the political process can be in Washington. The divisive partisan gamesmanship does nothing to meet the challenges before us as a nation. Future generations of Americans are depending on us to face those challenges sincerely and directly. I will work across the aisle and with all honest people to solve them.”
Prior to entering public service Rogers was a small business owner.
“I know what it means to create jobs, because I have done it,” Rogers continued. “I know the struggles faced by small business owners, because I have lived them. As a member of Congress I will work tirelessly to eliminate unnecessary and burdensome regulations that stifle small business development. We must foster a climate that encourages small businesses to thrive, grow, and create jobs.”
“We must also continue standing up against the unfair trade agreements that have shipped thousands of our jobs overseas,” Rogers added. “American workers will out-produce, out-compete, and out-innovate anyone in the world on a level playing field.”
Rogers is a graduate of Robbinsville High School and Princeton University. He resides in Brasstown with his wife, Donna Tipton-Rogers, and their two daughters, Torin (8) and Lochlan (6). They attend Little Brasstown Baptist Church.
Rogers also serves on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
He will conduct a formal announcement tour of the 11th District after filing.