Elections for the state Legislature don't typically generate the kind of interest that's accorded the more high-profile presidential or congressional contests. A lot of people don't know the names of the folks who represent them in Raleigh, and many voters couldn’t tell you what district they live in.
North Carolina’s General Assembly includes 50 state senators and 120 state representatives, all of whom serve two-year terms.
The General Assembly has wide-ranging authority: It can levy taxes, spend those revenues, regulate businesses and individual behavior, and even compel the state’s cities and towns to operate in specific ways.
But none of those powers is more far-reaching (or underappreciated) than the assembly’s authority to periodically re-draw congressional districts — a process that fundamentally affects not only how federal dollars are distributed but who gets elected to Congress itself. And since the party in power can generally be counted on to shape those districts in ways it thinks will favor its own candidates and interests, whoever controls the next session of the General Assembly will most likely go a long way toward determining the state’s political landscape over the next decade.
In the following pages, Xpress covers Buncombe County’s three state House races. We invite you to dive in and learn more about the candidates who are vying to represent you, to guide you in making your voice heard.
— — Michael Muller