Meet the candidates for Asheville Mayor, City Council ***UPDATED***

With filing over last Friday, Ashevilleans now have a firm idea of who’s running for office in this year’s local elections. Three candidates are vying to be the city’s next mayor, and six seek to fill three open City Council seats. Here’s a rundown of the candidates, and their statements (if they’ve issued one).


Esther Manheimer
Occupation, political experience: Attorney, current Vice Mayor
Statement: “Our challenges and opportunities have multiplied, and I see that our need for inclusive, inspired, strategic leadership is perhaps greater than ever. Because I am committed to providing that leadership, I will ask for the people’s support to be elected as Asheville’s next mayor.”

John Miall
Occupation, political experience: Consultant. Former risk management director, city of Asheville.
Statement: “I have a passion to return to public service and lead the City of Asheville as its Mayor. I spent a lifetime building relationships and taking leadership roles to achieve success, both locally and nationally. I want to bring those skills to City Hall where I believe they are needed.”

Martin Ramsey
Occupation, political, experience: works at Early Girl Eatery, activist
Statement: “Given the circumstances surrounding our city in dealing with a hostile General Assembly, the rewriting of our local election system, corporate welfare, police misconduct, expensive housing, and an over investment in an ecologically and economically unsustainable tourist economy, I could not allow this race to proceed without a meaningful debate on these issues.”

Asheville City Council

Cecil Bothwell
Occupation, political experience: builder, writer, incumbent Asheville City Council member
Statement: “Bothwell’s platform emphasizes a greener, more sustainable Asheville; maintaining our schools, community centers and parks; equal rights for all Ashevillians; and more affordable housing. In a second term, these areas will be the focus of Bothwell’s endeavors.”

Mike Lanning
Occupation, political experience: former Asheville Police Department officer, former head of Police Benevolent Association
Statement: “I’m running because of the issues with the Asheville Police Department, because there needs to be accountability and transparency…Because somebody up there needs to ask questions, and not just accept the information city staff are giving them.”

Gordon Smith
Occupation, political experience: family therapist, incumbent Asheville City Council member
Statement: “We can grow Asheville’s middle class and become a more independent, more resilient community. We can have more living-wage jobs, more affordable housing, more affordable transportation, increased food security, and a culture of equality for all of our citizens. Asheville is an aspirational city, and we can rise to this occasion.”

Jonathan Wainscott
Occupation, political experience: woodworker, activist
Statement: “The primary function of the City of Asheville’s City Council is to direct City staff with regards to its delivery of goods and services to the residents of our town. The City’s budget is crafted by the Finance Department and approved by vote of Council. Council also serves by election from the registered voters in the community and is charged with bringing the concerns of the citizens to consideration of the implementation of City services. By serving on City Council I will help improve the delivery of municipal goods and services.”

Gwen Wisler
Occupation, political experience: former CEO of the Coleman Company, consultant
Statement: “As a CEO, I faced many economic challenges. But that experience gave me just what I needed to help the City and our citizens propel Asheville’s economy forward…Safety, health, and quality-of-life are a top priority for me. I will always advocate for multi-modal transportation – that’s a key element in my platform.”

WITHDRAWN: Anastasia Yarbrough
Occupation, political experience: small business owner, activist
Statement: According to a July 23 statement on her Facebook page, Yarbrough has withdrawn from the race.


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4 thoughts on “Meet the candidates for Asheville Mayor, City Council ***UPDATED***

  1. zen

    I like the incumbents, but look forward to the new blood to stimulate strong debate.

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