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.
At the recommendation of the Buncombe County Republican Party, the board is scheduled to appoint Anthony Penland to fill the District 2 vacancy left by the late Commissioner Mike Fryar during its regular meeting. Penland will face Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in November’s general election.
“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.
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)
With Don Yelton’s controversial remarks on the Daily Show making national news, here’s some context about local right-wing activism. In 2007, Xpress profiled the Carolina Stompers, a local hardline conservative activist group including Yelton and then-future Buncombe GOP Chair Chad Nesbitt, known for flamboyant tactics and its promises to “stomp” liberalism.
Chad Nesbitt, current chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party, has notified executive committee members he does not plan to seek reelection this spring. He may, however, seek a different office soon.