North Carolina’s 47th District Senate seat represents Haywood, Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Avery and McDowell counties. Republican voters will choose between Andy Webb, Ralph Hise, and Tamera Frank in the May 4 primary, and the winner faces incumbent Democrat Joe Sam Queen in the November general election.
Andy Webb, McDowell County Commissioner
Experience: Andy Webb is a small business owner and three-term McDowell County Commissioner who served as chairman for six years. Webb is also a trustee of McDowell County Community College. His wife Vicki is an elementary school principal.
Platform: Webb is running on a platform that touts supporting education, preserving jobs, and trimming the state budget by cutting from the top down. He has pledged to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to change the climate in Raleigh. Webb is a social and fiscal conservative.
“Western North Carolina mountain folks are independent, hard-working, biblical and family-focused community minded, and supportive of their neighbor. Let’s not lose this way of life through a liberal worldview in Raleigh,” Webb said.
Ralph Hise, Spruce Pine, mayor
Experience: Ralph Hise is institutional assessment and planning officer at Mayland Community College and the second-term mayor of Spruce Pine. A 33-year-old native of Mitchell County, Hise would be the youngest member serving in the North Carolina Senate. Hise worked for the NC Victory Campaign under the North Carolina Republican Party in the 2004 and 2006 elections. He has served as the chairman and vice chairman of the Mitchell County Republican Party.
Platform: “We need to increase jobs and opportunities by lowering the tax rate, not through the one billion dollars in additional taxes Senator Queen supported this year. The backbone of our economy is small business, and we must create an atmosphere for them to develop and thrive, rather than be taxed to death. We must look to reduce government.”
“I am a strong conservative, and I pledge that bringing jobs and economic opportunities to Western North Carolina will be my greatest priority as your representative in the North Carolina Senate.”
Experience: Tamera Frank graduated from Mars Hill College and has spent time in the U.S. and overseas as a career Air Force wife. She worked as a waitress, a journalist, an adoptions social worker and an airline agent, among other jobs, before being appointed to the Department of Social Services Board of Directors in 2008.
Platform: Frank is running on a platform of small government and upholding constitutional rights.
“As your senator, I will work for lower taxes, limited government and the preservation of our individual rights...those freedoms given to you and me by God and backed up by the good old Constitution,” said Frank.
A self-styled political outsider, Frank has pledge to bring more jobs to Western North Carolina and bring back what she terms “mountain values.”
“I am, at the very core, a strong, Constitution-loving woman, hard-core on principles and values. I stand tough against political corruption; I am pro-life, pro-God, pro-Constitution, and even own a gun (yes, I believe I ought to be able to carry one and use it if I need to!).”