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An audit investigating Birdtown’s disputed 2017 Tribal Council race has concluded that ballot tampering is the likely culprit, with alleged fraud concentrated in the early voting ballots. 

With the sign-up period now underway, candidate are throwing their names in the hat to run for various local and state offices. 

Unseating Mark Meadows

Asheville Republican Congressman Mark Meadows’ extreme partisanship, attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and hypocritical fiscal responsibility make him a prime target for electoral defeat this year, according to three Western North Carolina Democrats who plan to challenge Meadows for his 11th District seat.

First, though, those candidates will square off against each other in a Democratic Primary Election for the right to face Meadows in November; others may yet come as well –- the filing period for candidates doesn’t end until Feb. 28.

Election season is right around the corner, as candidates begin filing paperwork to run for a variety of partisan offices from the federal level on down to state and local races in North Carolina.

Franklin’s new and returning councilmembers were recently sworn into office and immediately started conducting business during the December regular meeting.

Ben King, the 28-year-old co-owner of Bryson City Outdoors, was not only elected to the Bryson City Board of Aldermen, but the young challenger was the top vote-getter among five candidates with 154 votes.

Franklin residents kept two incumbents and elected one newcomer to the town council to represent them for the next four years.

Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossamon took home an overwhelming share of the votes in her bid for re-election Nov. 6, easily winning four more years in the mayor’s seat.

Elections in Canton, Clyde and Maggie Valley resulted in some tight races and new faces falling into voters’ good graces, but the outcomes in Haywood County’s three smallest municipalities couldn’t be more different as one moves forward, one stays the same and one still seeks to fill some holes.

Canton Alderman Zeb Smathers isn’t quite mayor yet, but that didn’t stop one local brewery from releasing a “Mayor Smathers Victory Ale” over a month ago, nor has it stopped Smathers — who is running unopposed — from laying out an aggressive plan designed to make the last four years of Canton progress “pale in comparison.”

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