Archived News

Six candidates vie for two Macon commission posts

election timeSix candidates have signed up to run for two commissioner seats in Macon County next year.

Current Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin’s District 2 seat will be up for grabs since he’s decided to run on the Republican ticket for the North Carolina House of Representatives. 

Three candidates have signed up to run for the open seat — Republicans Karl Gillespie and Ron Haven and Democrat Charlie Leatherwood. 

Gillespie, president of National Communications, Inc., serves on the Macon County Planning Board and the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees, but this is the first time seeking public office. 

Haven has also served as a Macon County Commissioner in the past but was defeated during the last election by moderate Republican Gary Shields. Haven owns several motels and rental properties in Macon County. 

Leatherman has also served as a commissioner before. While he was on the Republican ticket last time he ran for election in 2010, he has signed up to run as a Democrat this time around. He also is a former Macon County Schools educator and served on the SCC Board of Trustees. 

Related Items

District 3 Commissioner Paul Higdon signed up to run for a second term, but he will face three challengers — Republicans Greg Boyer and Manny Carrion and Democrat Bobby Kuppers. 

Boyer is a Franklin lawyer who ran for District Court Judge in 2010.  

Bobby Kuppers is a Franklin High School teacher and football coach who served as the District 3 commissioner for one term before being ousted by Higdon during the 2012 election.

Carrion, a 36-year-old local businessman, was one of 12 candidates who ran for the Franklin Board of Aldermen in 2013 but he didn’t garner enough votes to claim a seat on the board. 

The primary election will be held for both parties on March 15. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.