Budget is about $95 million for Haywood, Jackson and Swain
By Rep. Joe Sam Queen • Guest Columnist
I will stand with our governor and uphold his budget veto because we can do better — we must do better — for Haywood, Jackson, and Swain Counties. $95 million better!
This year, we have a real opportunity to make smart investments in our communities. We can expand Medicaid today, covering 500,000 hard-working, low-wage workers across our state, all with no new taxes. We can put a forward-thinking bond package on the ballot for the citizens to vote on this November that will make critical investments in our public schools. Our current budget proposal does not accomplish either of these necessary goals.
Rep. Queen invites labor secretary to Oconaluftee
In an effort to save the Oconaluftee Job Corps Center from being shut down, N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, has invited state and congressional leaders to come see the center’s successes in person.
Make way for elk (and trout): Haywood, Jackson counties seek designation as state’s elk and trout capitals
If you want to see an elk, the Elk Capital of North Carolina would probably be a good place to look. Pretty soon, that could mean a trip to Haywood County.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to promote unique things in our area, our national parks and our beautiful mountains in general,” said Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville. “It’s a way to use really a symbol of North Carolina to promote our region.”
Medicaid on their minds at Rep. Queen’s town hall
Four-time freshman legislator and recently re-elected Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, launched into this year’s legislative session by hosting a trio of town hall meetings across his district, but if the ones held in Jackson and Swain counties were anything like the one in Waynesville on Feb. 16, there’s just one thing on people’s minds — expanding Medicaid.
Local officials weigh in on legal marijuana
On Jan. 15, The Smoky Mountain News contacted almost every elected official in Haywood County for whom an email address was listed with the county’s board of elections. Around half failed to respond, but those who did were sometimes too verbose for print, so an excerpt from their response was used in the Jan. 23 edition of The Smoky Mountain News. In the interest of transparency, their full responses are included here.
Late surge in Dem fundraising for WNC General Assembly races
Third quarter fundraising reports submitted by candidates to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement last week show most Democratic challengers in Western North Carolina with substantial fundraising advantages over their Republican incumbent opponents.
Clampitt faces Queen for fourth time
While not quite reaching the level of Hatfield and McCoy, Western North Carolina’s longest running feud — that of Mike Clampitt and Joe Sam Queen — is no less competitive; after losses in 2012 and 2014, the Bryson City Republican Clampitt finally defeated the Waynesville Democrat Queen in 2016, and will predictably face him again this year in the race for House district 119.
Déjà vu: candidates walk familiar path
A spate of early announcements by local candidates hoping to gain seats in the North Carolina General Assembly may have voters feeling like they’ve been here before — because the candidates certainly have.
Locked in the longest-running ping-pong match in mountain politics, Joe Sam Queen reflects on his latest loss
Joe Sam Queen counts his campaign wins and losses like innings in a baseball game.
Clampitt upsets Queen for N.C. House
Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, thought the third time would be a charm.