Letter: Keep progressive momentum with Branyon

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m one of those who had to flee Asheville due to outrageous rent increases and now live in the western fringe. Although I live in Buncombe County District 3, I encourage thoughtful voters still hanging on in Asheville District 1 to vote for Bill Branyon for county commissioner.

He was a founding member of the Mountain Xpress, and he’s worked as a journalist for 30 years to try to get Buncombe County to live up to its potential. Bill is opposed to making Buncombe County into one more servant of the military industrial complex, as is now happening with our nearly $100 million subsidy of the Pratt & Whitney F-35 parts plant, and will instead subsidize peaceful industries.

Mr. Branyon will also try to make Buncombe’s economy humane with a $17.30 minimum wage, rent controls, a permanent freeze on middle- and lower-class residential property taxes, a referendum on how much more development we want and protection of our remaining forests, such as Big Ivy. Bill has also proven that he is not intimidated by Jack Cecil (the first cousin of the owner of the Biltmore Estate) who got much of the F-35 plant deal together, including selling Pratt & Whitney 100 acres worth $6 million for $1.

Go to Branyonforcommissioner.org to see these and numerous other progressive programs Bill has envisioned for our county, whose Democrats, after all, voted 53% in favor of progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom wanted to cut the F-35 program. Keep up this progressive momentum! Vote for Branyon on May 17.

— Larry Abbott

Editor’s note: Abbott reports serving as the candidate’s campaign treasurer.


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Keep progressive momentum with Branyon

  1. indy499

    Thanks, Larry for your usual 1 beat drum letter. I know who not to vote for.

  2. Local Grandad

    By all means, lets protect Mr. Branyons opinions and literal views at the expense of our most economically disadvantaged citizens. Growth requires grown-up leadership and pragmatism, not hyperventilation and conspiracy. This candidate should take his regressive, self-indulgent politics to a much, much smaller community.

  3. Taxpayer

    He seems like a nice guy but would have gotten more votes if he hadn’t tied himself to Sanders and Warren. That was the kiss of death for his campaign.

  4. Keith Thomson

    I live in District 1 in Black Mountain, and I support the true progressive, dedicated leadership of Al Whitesides. He is my Commissioner.
    Al has done more to positively lead our community than any other living citizen. His and Shirley Whitesides’ service to the children of our community, including the two I raised here, through their educational support is a model that everyone needs to follow to lift achievement for ALL students.

    Al’s skills in business led to the cleanup and recovery of integrity and money from the past county staff management failures.

    Al’s support for ambitious goals for accelerating decarbonization and saving taxpayer money through energy efficiency, electrification, and solarization of our county’ operations, schools, and community college buildings, is leading our state and nation.

    Treating the first African American County Commissioner in Buncombe County history like some did Al Gore in Florida in 2000, Hillary Clinton in WI, MI, and PA in 2016, or Ketanji Brown Jackson in March 2022, is wrong. Don’t do it! It’s NOT “PROGRESSIVE.”

    Find another hobby, this one stinks.

  5. Keith Thomson

    If a candidate running for county government promised to eliminate the speed limit and minimum wage, outlaw electric vehicles and solar systems, and make gay people wear pink triangles, and they won a majority of commissioners who agreed with them, we would be so thankful that NC law prohibited any such changes by local officials.

    Bill knows his promises are not within the power of the Buncombe County Commission, but many voters won’t, yet, know that. There’s no time like the present to learn something new.

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