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No Primary Election opposition for western Republicans

No Primary Election opposition for western Republicans

Unlike elsewhere, Western North Carolina’s westernmost legislators had a relatively quiet election night on May 17. 

First-term Rep. Mark Pless (R-Haywood) was unopposed in the Primary Election and will face Democrat Josh Remillard in November. The new 60% Republican 118th House District contains all of Haywood and all of Madison counties. Previously, it had included Yancey County as well, although a swath of Haywood was excluded.

Rep. Mike Clampitt (R-Swain) was likewise unopposed in his primary this year, after defeating Jackson County Commissioner Ron Mau in the 2020 Primary Election. Clampitt’s 119th House District currently includes Swain, Jackson and a portion of Haywood County, however after the General Election it will include the entirety of Swain, Jackson and Transylvania counties. The new district is estimated to be 54.5% Republican. Transylvania County Democrat Al Platt awaits Clampitt in November. 

Former Macon County commissioner and current first-term Rep. Karl Gillespie (R-Macon) saw no Primary Election opposition this year. Gillespie’s 120th House District, which saw no change in the last round of redistricting, includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon counties. It’s slightly north of 71% Republican, which may be why no Democrats stepped up to run against Gillespie in the General Election — meaning he gets a free pass this cycle, back to Raleigh.

Sen. Kevin Corbin (R-Macon) used to occupy the seat now held by Gillespie until Sen. Jim Davis retired in 2020. Unlike 2020, Corbin didn’t have a Primary Election opponent this year. Despite losing 12 precincts to the new 47th Senate District, the 50th remains 62% Republican. Corbin will face Graham County Democrat Karen McCracken this fall. 

Check out for district boundaries as well as partisan demographics and more. 

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