Breathe deep. As primary elections approach on Tuesday, March 3, much of the proverbial political oxygen is being burned in the fiery contest to determine a Democratic presidential candidate — the eventual challenger to Republican President Donald Trump in November’s general election.
But when it comes to the day-to-day decisions that determine how the government affects Western North Carolina residents, there’s much at stake in the races farther down the ballot. Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. General Assembly, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council are specifically tasked with making life better for the people who live in these mountains.
Mountain Xpress reached out to every candidate running in a contested primary for these locally focused positions. Every hopeful for the same office received the same set of questions, with slight variations in those posed to Republican and Democratic candidates in partisan races. Through multiple emails and phone calls, Xpress confirmed that every candidate was aware of this effort and had the opportunity to submit their answers.
Xpress is publishing the results of those questionnaires to help WNC’s voters make informed decisions about the people who will represent their interests. Early voting begins on Thursday, Feb. 13, and the Buncombe County Board of Elections has more information about when and where to vote. Voters registered with a party must vote in that party’s primary, but unaffiliated voters can request any primary ballot.
Responses from candidates for each contested primary race are available at the pages linked below:
- Asheville City Council — Nonpartisan
- Buncombe County Board of Commissioners — Democratic and Republican
- N.C. House of Representatives District 117 — Democratic and Republican
- N.C. Senate District 48 — Democratic
- N.C. Senate District 49 — Democratic
- U.S. House of Representatives District 11 — Democratic
- U.S. House of Representatives District 11 — Republican
Previous Xpress coverage of the 2020 election season is available at the pages linked below:
- “Hot seat: City Council candidates stake positions at forum” – Feb. 7, 2020
- “Unaffiliated candidates face challenging path to ballot” – Jan. 10, 2020
- “Slates set for March 3 primary” – Jan. 3, 2020
- “How districting changes could play out in WNC” – Dec. 28, 2019
- “2020 election campaigns already stirring in WNC” – June 14, 2019