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In the second quarter of 2016, Burnsville Republican State Rep. Michelle Presnell only received one contribution that wasn’t from a political action committee, a professional association or another candidate.

op frThe North Carolina Senate has become emboldened in its partisanship over the last couple of years, and there appears to be no end in sight. Under the leadership of Sen. Phil Berger, the president pro tem, and his troops — including our own Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin — it has ventured so far to the right and is making moves that are so politically heavy-handed that even Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-controlled state House often call foul.

Voters could see more Ds and Rs on their election ballot in 2016 if Republicans push through legislation to make local school board and statewide judicial races partisan.

A long-awaited showdown in the internal power struggle for control of the Haywood County Republican Party will play out this Saturday during the party’s annual convention.

fr GOPKarin Wollin had just taken a break from a sullen morning of sorting through stacks of campaign signs at the Haywood County Democratic headquarters in Waynesville when a clatter was heard on the sidewalk outside.

fr macon daysA group of past Macon County Commissioners spent an hour reminiscing about their triumphs and reflecting on lessons learned in front of an audience that included two Election Day hopefuls last week. The lunchtime program was the third in a series from the Macon County League of Women Voters examining the county’s growth from the perspective of those who served it during key moments. 

coverThom Tillis has a recurring daydream. The Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and candidate for the U.S. Senate, laid out his fantasy during the GOP’s annual convention held last weekend in Cherokee.   

“It goes something like this: I’m standing in the Senate chamber,” Tillis said, “and Harry Reid is looking for his seat. And I get to say, ‘Mr. Minority leader, it’s somewhere back there.”

An ongoing tug-of-war for control of the Haywood County Republican Party reached a finale last week.

A faction of conservative activists failed in their bid to wrest the chairman’s seat away from Pat Carr, who represents the mainstream party establishment. Carr now hopes the party can overcome the internal division that has plagued it for more than a year.

A single primary wasn’t enough to clear out the crowded field of candidates for the sheriff’s seat in Jackson County. Though Deputy Sheriff Chip Hall carried 42 percent of the vote in a field of six Democratic candidates, the three Republican candidates finished virtually neck and neck. 

coverDueling challenges over the legitimacy of two Macon County commissioner candidates could have had far-reaching implications for the county’s political landscape and, ultimately, the tone and tenure of the county for years to come.

SEE ALSO: Haven convinces board that motel is home

Both challenges fizzled out after a week of political commotion, but from the shadows of the unfolding drama a power struggle for majority control on the Macon County Board of Commissioners emerged. While both candidates who faced challenges are Republicans, they come from two different ends of the party’s philosophical spectrum.

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Reading Room

  • A strange mix of books crosses my desk
    A strange mix of books crosses my desk The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers. First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935…
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