Former Asheville City Council member Joe Dunn, who finished with the most votes in May’s Republican primary for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, announced on July 24 that he is withdrawing from the race.
” As many of you may know, I have been struggling with a decision to stay an active candidate for a position on the Buncombe County Commission,” Dunn wrote in his announcement. “I have been torn between family and service to my community. I have four wonderful grandchildren and a family that has always been supportive in the past. I no longer feel I should live my life and place my political future ahead of my family.”
The letter also expresses Dunn’s opinion that “the Buncombe County Commission is now taking on the same potential look as the current ‘progressive’ city council. Voters had better wake up before it is too late.”
Dunn served on City Council from 2001 to 2005 and was an outspoken conservative. He ran for mayor in 2005, but was defeated by current Mayor Terry Bellamy.
The decision has left the Buncombe County Republican Party scrambling to find a replacement. In a July 28 announcement, party leaders stated that “the organization is accepting nominations and will make a final decision on August 18th.”
The announcement also invited all interested Republicans to submit their names. Whoever is chosen to take Dunn’s spot will be running along with John Carroll, Ron McKee and Don Yelton against the Democratic Party’s nominees: city council member Holly Jones, former AB-Tech President K. Ray Bailey and incumbents Carol Peterson and Bill Stanley.