Cawthorn with veterans at Point Lookout Vineyard

COVID-19 campaignin­g divides local candidates along partisan lines

Many Republican candidates have continued to build voter support through traditional in-person campaign events such as rallies and fundraising concerts. In contrast, Democrats have largely relied on virtual efforts such as phone banking or Zoom calls, eschewing big events out of concern they might encourage spread of the coronavirus.

Madison Cawthorn at Point Lookout Vineyards watch party on June 23

Cawthorn takes Republican nomination for NC-11 seat

Henderson County real estate investor Madison Cawthorn took nearly 66% of the vote in a June 23 second primary against Madison County real estate agent Lynda Bennett, thereby securing the nomination to run in November’s general election. His 30,444 votes in the second primary exceeded the total ballots cast in the 2012 runoff between former Rep. Mark Meadows and Vance Patterson by over 7,400.

Mark Meadows portrait

From AVL Watchdog: The race for the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressio­nal district could embarrass Trump

As the race for the GOP nomination heads to the June 23 climax, Bennett appears by many indicators to be locked in a desperate race against 24-year-old political neophyte Madison Cawthorn of Hendersonville. A victory by Cawthorn, a political unknown until weeks ago, will be seen as a humiliating defeat for Bennett, a longtime GOP functionary.

Unaffiliated voters in WNC

Unaffiliat­ed candidates face challengin­g path to ballot

Although unaffiliated voters are the second most-populous political group in North Carolina, no members of the state’s Congressional delegation are unaffiliated, nor are any officeholders at the state level. According to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, just seven of 587 total county commission seats were won by independent or third-party candidates in 2018.

Flat Rock Village Hall

Buncombe quiet, Henderson contested in 2019 elections

Xpress reached out to candidates across the two counties to understand their motivations for participating in the municipal elections. Many of the topics the hopeful elected officials raised — diversity, transportation planning and preservation of small-town character — may give WNC politicos a sneak peak at what will be important to area voters in 2020.

Is WNC fairly represente­d on state boards and commission­s?

“We’re certainly not overrepresented,” says Republican Rep. Chuck McGrady, who’s in his fourth term representing Henderson County in Raleigh. In fact, depending on how you break down the numbers, you could say that Western North Carolina falls a little short of genuinely proportional representation on state boards and commissions, according to data obtained from the […]