N.C. House District 119 represents Jackson, Swain and portions of Haywood and Macon counties. In the Democratic primary, incumbent Phil Haire faces challenger Avram Friedman. The winner will face Republican candidate Dodie Allen of Jackson County in the November election.
Phil Haire, 73, attorney in Sylva
Haire has served five terms as a state representative. He is chairman of the N.C. House Appropriations Committee. Haire served in the U.S. Air Force and obtained the rank of captain.
As chairman of the appropriations committee, Haire has seen the state’s budget crisis firsthand. He is running on a platform that features bolstering the economy, preserving jobs and balancing the budget.
“My number one interest is maintaining the fiscal integrity of the state. Let’s keep us strong without having to cut employees and services,” Haire said.
Haire points to his voting record on environmental issues — sponsoring steep slope development and clean air bills and promoting farmland preservation –– as proof that he is a champion for keeping the mountain region pristine.
“My people go back 250 years in the mountains, and I’m a mountain person, so it’s one of the first things I think about –– protecting this place,” Haire said.
Haire also emphasizes his record of helping critical local development projects –– like the Jackson County Senior Center in Webster –– and his advocacy for Southwestern Community College funding as evidence of his attention to detail in his district. His tenure has given him clout to help gets things done that a newcomer would not enjoy. He has pledged to keep education strong, and he said he will continue to press NCDOT to get I-40 open as soon as possible.
“I never get into finger-pointing,” Haire said. “I just run on what I’ve done, and if people like it, I hope they’ll vote for me.”