Party like it’s 2010

Democrats and Republicans in Buncombe County have been busy lately — the Democrats packed the ornate fifth-floor chamber of the Buncombe County Courthouse on April 17 to hold their annual party convention, while Republicans gathered the same day to celebrate the grand opening of their new headquarters in a defunct carpet warehouse on New Leicester Highway.

Have a little faith: The Rev. Wendell Runion — new chair of the Buncombe County GOP Faith Committee — spoke before about 100 of the party faithful on April 17. Photo by Michael Muller

Democrats heard from a throng of candidates and current elected officials, including Congressman Heath Shuler, N.C. Senate majority leader Martin Nesbitt, state Rep. Jane Whilden, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chairman David Gantt and others. Also present were Sheriff Van Duncan, District Attorney Ron Moore, state Rep. Susan Fisher, County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Bill Stanley, commissioners Carol Peterson, Holly Jones, K. Ray Bailey, and Asheville City Council members Cecil Bothwell and Gordon Smith, among others.

"It was nice to hear from so many candidates and elected officials," said Jake Quinn, the Buncombe County Democratic Party secretary and one of the chief organizers of the event. "The convention went smoothly and we had a good time; but I don't mind waiting a year to do it again," Quinn told Xpress with his signature cheeky grin.

On the other side of the political spectrum — and the other side of town — Buncombe County Republicans gathered to hear newly elected county chairman Chad Nesbitt rally about 100 party loyalists. The meeting opened with a demonstration by Asheville High School's JROTC, followed by the Rev. Wendell Runion, the newly appointed chairman of the GOP's Faith Committee. He decried the "liberal, socialistic" agenda of the Asheville City Council — including its consideration of same-sex domestic partnership benefits for city employees. Runion is an evangelical minister perhaps best known for organizing the "We Still Pray" rallies that were launched in 2000.

A number of candidates were present, including four of the six men running for the chance at unseating Shuler this fall: Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, Ed Krause, Jeff Miller and former Hendersonville Mayor Greg Newman.

John Carroll — who mounted an unsuccessful bid to join the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in 2008 and who will face Fisher in the 114th District in November — spoke briefly, as did Bridgette Odom, a newly minted candidate for Buncombe County District Attorney. Dickie Green, who is running for Buncombe County sheriff, also made an appearance, as did perennial candidates R.L. Clark and Don Yelton, both of whom are running in the Republican primary in N.C. Senate District 49 for the chance to unseat Martin Nesbitt, the stepfather of their new party chairman.
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7 thoughts on “Party like it’s 2010

  1. Don Yelton

    Michael please learn to count and I want to know how many winning candidates you have worked for?

    You love to point out loses so how many wins have you had? Actually, how many offices have you run for,or do you just talk about others?

    I have always learned something every time I have run for office.

  2. Diana

    Rocky Owenby is a Democrat and was not at the GOP HQ grand opening. The Republican candidate for sheriff is Dickie Green.

  3. Over It

    Mr. Yelton please learn to punctuate and I want to know how many times you have run and lost?

    Apparently there is one thing you didn’t learn from all those times you ran for office…and lost.

  4. Don Yelton

    You get over it and start looking at the contents of the message. Michael Muller talks about the Republican Party then asks them to do work and takes their money. He can’t count and must be blind. I notice that you refuse to use your name or you Michael using another name. We know that Gordon Smith has done that and birds of feather flock together. Are you guys one in the same or the three stooges.

  5. Dionysis

    Mr. Yelton, speaking of “the message” why are you using robocalls? I received one (with your voice) two Saturday’s ago. It was the first such robocall I’ve gotten since Charles Taylor was let out to pasture. As far as I can tell, no other candidates are doing so.

    Do you really need to irritate people with these irksome things? Even the robocall message itself started out acknowledging this (but continues anyway).

  6. Dionysis

    “Dionysis you can’t say I am the only one doing that now.”

    Two things: (1) I asked a question, still unanswered (‘why do you use them’), and (2) as I stated, no other candidate uses them to my knowledge; at least yours is the only one I’ve received from anyone since Charles Taylor. Perhaps your competitors are doing so as well, but I’ve not gotten any such calls from any of them.

    If “the message” is so persuasive, why the need for these irksome calls?

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