The campaign trail: A look at what happened this week in local politics

It was a big week for N.C. House Rep. Tim Moffitt, beginning with a lengthy July 22 cover story in the Asheville Citizen-Times that shined a bright and endearing light on the freshman legislator.

The daily paper’s headline declared that “Moffitt Seems Unstoppable.” However, his Democratic opponent in District 116, Former N.C. House Rep. Jane Whilden, disagreed in a statement released by her campaign a couple of days later.

“He spent two years drafting legislation that attacks our water, airport, and agricultural center” she asserted. “I am working hard to unseat this bully. … Tim Moffitt is NOT unstoppable.” Meanwhile, local cartoonist Randy Molton lambasted the AC–T‘s profile of Moffitt in a comic he posted to Facebook that was shared among several prominent local Democrats.

Meanwhile, via Twitter, Moffitt praised the article as “very fair and balanced.” He held a July 21 town hall event at the Skyland Fire Department. Residents of the Biltmore Lake community also held an event for the lawmaker to express their appreciation for his recently passed anti-annexation legislation, sparing the area from incorporation into the city of Asheville.

And on July 23, Moffitt launched a new website that touts legislation he’s authored or co-sponsored. Moffitt has been prolific in his first term: He was the primary sponsor of 29 bills and co-sponsor of 116 others.

One of the most controversial bills, [HB] 1009, aims to change the board rules for the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, and allow the independent agency to also operate as a water authority. Asheville City Council just took action Tuesday night to urge Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue to veto the bill, based on their opposition to the possibility that the Asheville water system may be forced to merge with MSD. However, as of July 27, it looked like Perdue had decided to deny the request, paving the way for another one of Moffitt’s signature bills to become law.

Redrawn last year, District 116 stretches from Arden in the south to Sandy Mush in the northwest, comprising the most conservative part of the county.

This is the third contest between Moffitt and Whilden: Whilden narrowly beat Moffitt in 2008, serving one term in the Statehouse before losing to him in 2010.

Meanwhile in the race for N.C. House in District 115, which covers the eastern part of the county, Republican candidate Nathan Ramsey held a July 24 fundraiser and then joined the Buncombe County Young Republicans group at an Asheville Tourists game. The next day, his Democratic opponent, Susan Wilson, could be seen shaking hands at a public presentation about New Belgium Brewing Co.‘s plans for the River Arts District.

McHenry amasses big financial advantage; Meadows hops aboard Romney’s bus

In this year’s race for the 10th Congressional District seat, incumbent Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry has gained an enormous financial advantage over Democratic challenger Patsy Keever.

A resident of Cherryville in Gaston County, McHenry raised $950,120 for this year’s campaign as of June 30, the closing date for the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That’s more than five times the total raised by the Keever campaign for the same period — $187,701.

The two candidates subsequently traded barbs over the numbers in dueling campaign statements to Xpress.

Meanwhile, in the race for the 11th District seat, Democrat Hayden Rogers, spent time campaigning in Morganton at the EJ Victor furniture-manufacturing plant, where he met with workers and discussed his views on the economy.

“…We can’t continue to enter into trade agreements that the primary export ends up being American jobs,” Rogers said, as reported by the Morganton News Herald. “I think that’s one of the responsibilities of federal government and an area we play a key role in making sure that America stays competitive, and in fact stays at the top in this global economy.”

A couple of days later, his Republican opponent, Mark Meadows, hopped aboard a tour bus usually used by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and campaigned in Buncombe and Henderson counties. In Hendersonville, Meadows declared July 26 that “Romney is the solution for jobs in WNC,” according to BlueRidgeNow.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

4 thoughts on “The campaign trail: A look at what happened this week in local politics

  1. The Moulton cartoon, and the accompanying peanut-gallery comments, are an excellent example of envy and reactionary silly spit-ball politics.

    “Why can’t we get glowing reviews? Waah.”
    “Let’s make fun of the way he looks. That’ll show ’em. Hah.”

    The truth is that Rep. Moffitt has been very effective (using the rules Democrats put in place) in protecting property rights through forcible-annexation reform and ETJ restrictions, protecting voting rights through district elections, protecting commerce rights by allowing breweries to sell their own beer, protecting public safety through launching investigations into CTS contamination, protecting regional assets through airport and water system authority transfers.

    The list goes on:

    And all that the envious belly-achers can do is complain that he’s handsome? You gotta laugh.

    • bill smith

      I suspect that you actually think you are making a compelling argument [i]for[/i] Mr Moffit by ignoring all substantive arguments against him and only engaging the juvenile ones.

  2. Meiling Dai

    For those who want to learn about bills that Rep. Tim Moffitt sponsored or co-sponsored on various topics that include annexation, real estate, breweries and water, go to his new website
    at It’s a real eye-opener!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.