Wayne King, a Republican candidate for N.C.’s 11th Congressional District has announced an endorsement from Buncombe County’s former sheriff, Van Duncan. Duncan was elected three times as a Democrat. Just before leaving office in 2018 he changed his voter registration to be unaffiliated. The Citizen-Times reported at the time that Duncan was citing “an anti-law enforcement sentiment” among Democrats, but also said his move was “not in any way an endorsement of the negativity of the right.”
Press release from Wayne King for Congress:
Today, retired Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan endorsed Western North Carolina native Wayne King in the Republican primary to replace outgoing U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows to represent North Carolina’s 11th District. Duncan made statewide news in 2018 for leaving the Democratic Party because of the anti-law enforcement sentiment in the party.
“I support Wayne King because he has strongly supported public safety in Western North Carolina,” Duncan said. “He, along with Congressman Meadows, have worked diligently to make sure that Firefighters, EMS and Law Enforcement have the tools they need to protect their communities. I cannot think of anyone more qualified to be our congressman than Wayne King.
“I am honored to have Sheriff Duncan’s endorsement,” King said. “He dedicated his career to keeping the people of Western North Carolina safe, ultimately, serving 12 years as sheriff of Buncombe County before his retirement. Sheriff Duncan is also a man of great courage and conviction who stood up for law enforcement locally and around the nation by leaving the Democratic Party and calling out the anti-law enforcement sentiment that is prevalent in the party.
“I had the good fortune to work with Sheriff Duncan during my years as Mark Meadows’ District Director. Sheriff Duncan knows I’m the voice we need in Congress to ensure our mountains remain a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. He knows I will always stand with our Firefighters, EMS and Law Enforcement and that I will build on Congressman Meadows’ successful efforts to ensure they have the tools, resources and support necessary to keep all of us safe.”
Duncan’s endorsement comes on the heels of endorsements from the following Republican notables:
Former GOP presidential candidate and United States Senator Rick Santorum
Greg Newman, District Attorney for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties
Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye
Graham County Sheriff Joseph Jones
Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin
McDowell County Sheriff Ricky Buchanan
Mitchell County Sheriff Donald Street
Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis
Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney
Yancey County Sheriff Gary Banks
Graham County Register of Deeds Carolyn Stewart
Transylvania County Commissioner Jason Chappell
Spruce Pine Mayor Darla Harding
Henderson County School Board Member Amy Lynn Holt
King is a Western North Carolina native and former Vice-Chair of the NCGOP. He has served the past seven years as Congressman Meadows’ Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director.