Watch this space for the latest 2020 primary election results for Western North Carolina and commentary from the Mountain Xpress news team. The post will be updated regularly throughout the evening.
“We used to talk about presidents and members of Congress having permanent campaigns, meaning they never really stop campaigning, and I think the same thing has now trickled down to the state level,” says Chris Cooper, head of Western Carolina University’s Political Science and Public Affairs Department.
“This is where the key issues that we all care about are brought to national prominence, promoted by all of our votes, if we participate. There’s the key — participation.”
Robert Pressley, incumbent Buncombe County commissioner for District 3, was the only Republican to win a county race in the hotly contested 2018 midterms. Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rose said the party’s unprecedented midterm voter outreach had helped propel Democratic candidates to wins in nearly all local contests.
Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene is recommending a total budget of just over $407 million that would hold the property tax rate at 60.4 cents per $100 of valued property. However, property revaluations will take place this year with new values expected to sent out mid-January 2017.
Early voting began May 26 for a special primary for candidates in the 10th and 11th congressional districts and for North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice. Early voting will run through June 4, with polling places closed over Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30.
Despite rightward-streaming state and federal political currents, Buncombe County stood out on election night as a small sea of Democratic blue. In several important local races, Democratic candidates toppled Republican incumbents or maintained their positions of power. Here’s a look at some of those key local races, with an analysis of what happened and the consequences going forward.
Buncombe County Democrats had a big night, winning several key local races by razor thin margins. (Photo by Pat Barcas)
Kathy Sinclair was elected Sept. 14 to chair the Buncombe County Democratic Party.