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.

Clampitt takes nomination in 119th District

It looks like one of North Carolina’s longest-running political feuds will go another round. 

“I’m so pleased and thankful to God to be the official nominee for the 119th District,’” said Bryson City Republican Mike Clampitt. “Now it’s time to start the ‘Say it ain’t so Joe,’ campaign. Or, a better one might be the ‘Joe’s got to go’ campaign.” 

Nov. 3 will be the fifth time Clampitt faces incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Sam Queen, of Waynesville. Queen won in 2012 and 2014 but lost in 2016 and then reclaimed the seat from Clampitt in 2018. 

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Clampitt scored a decisive victory over Jackson County Commissioner Ron Mau. Clampitt earned more than 61 percent of the vote and will thus avoid a runoff. 

“Well, I did spend two years in the House as the elected representative and had a working knowledge of that, and I got out and worked in the public and talked to people individually,” said Clampitt of why he prevailed in the March 3 primary. “Probably the other important factor is being a native of WNC. People recognized that and wanted a local to represent them.”


GOP House District 119 

  • Mike Clampitt:4,077                                            
  • Ron Mau:2,593
Go to top