From 2006-2012, the seat was held by Heath Shuler, a self-described conservative Democratic and former football star. But Shuler threw his party for a loop at the 11th hour by deciding not to run in 2012. Shuler’s own chief of staff was the only dog the Democrats could muster for a last-minute run. But it was to no avail, however. The seat went Republican, and has attracted little Democratic interest this time.
Democratic primary: yes
Republican primary: no
• U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, has been serving in Congress for two years.
• Keith Ruehl, D-Barnardsville, is a 47-year-old entrepreneur. He decided to run for Congress because of “dissatisfaction with our current leadership.”
• Tom Hill, D-Zirconia, is making another run for this congressional seat. The candidate has a Ph.D. in physics from UNC-Chapel Hill and worked in the aerospace field with the U.S. Department of Defense. During the 2012 race, Hill listed the costs of “unwinnable wars” and collecting taxes from “deadbeat corporations” as some of his key concerns.