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Archived Special Coverage (181)

Haywood County Schools is at a crossroads, making this year’s crowded election for school board a pivotal one.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows and his challenger Rick Bryson have opposing views on the success of Meadows’ two terms in office and how North Carolina’s 11th District is being represented.

Four more-or-less equally well-qualified candidates are competing for just two open seats on the Haywood County Board of Commissioners, leaving voters with some hard decisions come Nov. 8. 

Swain County residents will be asked whether they support an additional quarter-cent sales tax when they vote during the Nov. 8 general election.

Perhaps it’s because Haywood County residents haven’t seen such a measure since the Truman administration, but the wording on the county’s alcohol sales referenda has left many voters confused as to what, exactly, they’re being asked.

In this year’s commissioner election, Swain County residents will have to decide whether they are happy with the work done by the two incumbents running for re-election or if they want to give two newcomers a chance to make a change.

Franklin orthodontist Jim Davis has held the District 50 seat in the N.C. Senate since 2010, when the legislature flipped to a Republican majority for the first time in more than 100 years. But if Jane Hipps, a retired educator and certified nurse practioner from Haywood County, has her way, she’ll be the one representing District 50 come January.

Rhonda Cole Schandevel is a survivor. 

“I hate it. I miss him terribly,” she said, a limpid pool of tears welling up in her eyes. “Sure, I’m sad that my husband died, but I’m very proud that I’ve been able to raise my son in a state that valued public education and valued the working class. Those are values our legislature does not hold today, especially my opponent.”

Macon County residents will more than likely recognize the names of the four commissioner candidates who will appear on their Nov. 8 ballots.

Haywood County Commission candidates faced off last Thursday at a forum hosted by The Mountaineer, and while there wasn’t a lot of dissention among them, the questions they received provide insight into the needs and wants of Haywood County residents.

Anyone who’s driven through Jackson County in the last several months is likely well aware that there’s an election underway for two county commissioner seats.

Born and raised in Swain County, Mike Clampitt is a sixth-generation Western North Carolinian with roots in the area dating back to the Revolutionary War.

It’s been 17 years since voters in North Carolina’s four westernmost counties have chosen a new representative for the state House of Representatives, but following the retirement of Roger West, R-Marble, that will change on Election Day. 

On Tuesday Nov. 8, voters in Haywood County will decide from amongst a slew of candidates seeking election to the Haywood County Board of Education in a non-partisan race. 

Every election cycle, the Macon County League of Women Voters aims to educate its community about local and state candidates and the issues impacting the region by hosting political forums.

Some local Republicans got their brief fling with fame during Donald Trump’s campaign rally Monday in Asheville.

Just prior to the Haywood County Board of Education’s work session on Aug. 4, Chairman Chuck Francis unilaterally decreed that the meeting’s required minutes would be recorded manually.

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.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — the second quarter, that is.

swainSwain County residents will get to decide whether the county can levy an additional quarter-cent sales tax when they vote during the Nov. 8 general election.

election timeBallots have been finalized in Haywood County for November’s General Election, and while a number of national and state campaigns have thus far overshadowed local races, that won’t last much longer.

fr caneyforkstoreMickey Luker has been working on a remodel of Caney Fork General Store ever since he purchased the property in 2011, but now the county commissioner candidate is claiming that politically motivated nefariousness caused the county health department to deny him the wastewater permit he needs to add a deli line to his business.

election timeAlthough the upcoming general election has much of the nation’s attention focused on just two candidates — a controversial populist and a former Secretary of State under investigation for mishandling classified material — local races offer considerably more palatable choices that will have a direct impact on the lives of area residents. 

fr presnellThe Great Smoky Mountains are known across the world for their beauty and the unique bluish haze produced in large part by local vegetation, but if N.C. Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, has her way, the Smokies may soon become a lot smokier. 

fr brysonDemocrat Rick Bryson will move on to run against U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows in the general election after narrowly winning the June 7 congressional primary.

fr demrunoffTwo Democratic candidates will face off in the June 7 election for a chance to unseat U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, in the general election and represent Western North Carolina in Washington, D.C.

north carolinaHaywood County is the latest in steady wave of communities across the mountains to shed its long-standing political and cultural hang-ups over alcohol by allowing a countywide vote this fall on whether to legalize beer and wine sales in the county at large.

haywoodAn announcement by Haywood County commissioners last week that a vote to legalize beer and wine sales countywide will appear on the November ballot came as a surprise to the public, with the news still making the rounds.

fr haywoodalcoholBeer is good for business.

That’s the message supporters of countywide beer and wine sales in Haywood County are hoping to get across in the run-up to a ballot question in November’s election.

haywoodHaywood County voters will be asked to weigh in during the general election on whether businesses outside town limits should be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages.

election timeHaywood County Democrat Rhonda Schandevel will pose a formidable challenge in her bid for the N.C. House of Representatives this fall if her overwhelming victory among Haywood voters in the primary is any indication.

election timeThe primary for Haywood County commissioner showed clear and overwhelming support for a single front-runner from each party, and both are political newcomers.

election timeAn interesting anomaly played out in the mountains in the Presidential primary last week.

election timeA majority of North Carolina voters approved a significant investment in the state’s future economy during the primary election by voting in favor of the Connect NC bond referendum.

election timeBy the time polls closed March 15, Kevin Corbin’s soles were feeling the pain from 12 hours of standing on pavement outside polling places in Robbinsville, Murphy and Hayesville.

swainSwain County commissioner incumbents Steve Moon and David Monteith received the vote of confidence in the Democratic primary election.

maconIncumbent commissioner Paul Higdon and political newcomer Karl Gillespie will move on to the general election after winning the primary in Macon County. 

election timeAfter taking home 59 percent of the vote in last week’s election, Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, is looking toward a November contest against incumbent Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, for the N.C. House District 119 seat.

haywoodHaywood County commissioner candidates were asked whether they think the county should spend $3.5 million on a new animal shelter.

election timeRhonda Schandevel and Reese Steen

fr schandevelsteenTwo Democrats squaring off in the primary for the state House seat spanning Haywood, Madison and Yancey counties claim they’re the one who can oust N.C. Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, and restore progress in North Carolina.

taxesSales tax in Jackson County could rise to 7 percent if voters approve a referendum vote that would add a quarter cent to the existing sales tax to help get the county’s K-12 and community college facilities back in shape.

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 16:52

Election coverage 2016

Written by

fr house119The March ballot might feel a bit like déjà vu for Republican voters in N.C. House District 119, as Aaron Littlefield and Mike Clampitt once again face off for the chance to run against incumbent Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, in November.

fr house120Rep. Roger West’s, R-Marble, announcement that he wouldn’t be running for re-election left a void in N.C. House District 120, and two Republicans are vying to fill it. 

fr congressNorth Carolina will now have two primary elections in 2016 as lawsuits challenging the state’s districting maps continue to play out in court.

election timeOver the past two weeks, The Smoky Mountain News has explored where Haywood County commissioner candidates stand on education, economic development, land-use planning, the county’s direction and partisan labels.

A study conducted by Haywood County Schools justifying the closure of Central Elementary School was a sham and failed to meet state requirements for a school closure, two speakers argued before the Haywood County School Board last week.
State Republican lawmakers were strongly chastised for penning Central Elementary School’s death warrant during a rally prior to the Haywood County School board meeting last week.

haywoodOn the right track or wrong track? That question was posed to candidates running for Haywood County commissioner and could offer insight for voters on which ones most closely align with their own views.

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