NC elections highlight the importance of the West

There’s a strong, long-held sentiment here in rural Western North Carolina that the region is often overlooked when balanced against the state of North Carolina as a whole, but unofficial results from the March 3 Primary Election show that the counties that make up this rugged, mountainous region are more important politically than ever before. 

UPDATED: Lynda Bennett campaign under fire for sham endorsement

(Editor's note: This story was originally published on Feb. 22, but has been updated with new information as of Feb. 25.)   

A Smoky Mountain News investigation into a mysterious handout distributed at polling places during early voting casts serious aspersions on the legitimacy of an endorsement of congressional candidate Lynda Bennett by a previously unknown, hastily formed political action committee with ties to one of her campaign consultants.

Republicans seek to maintain control of Meadows’ seat

Last September at a Macon County GOP event, Franklin Republican and five-term Sen. Jim Davis announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election to his seat in the North Carolina General Assembly. After a short speech by Davis, party officials whisked an American flag off a handsome white rocking chair and presented it to Davis as a sign of gratitude for 10 years of service in Raleigh as well as 10 years of service as a Macon County commissioner. 

Macon commissioner hopes to succeed Rep. Corbin

Although Franklin Republican Rep. Kevin Corbin has decided to run for the state Senate in 2020, Western North Carolina Republicans are intent on keeping his House seat out of Democratic hands. 

Sen. Davis to retire, endorses Rep. Corbin

A powerful voice for Western North Carolina in the North Carolina General Assembly is about to pop the kickstand on a long career in public service, but even though Franklin Republican Sen. Jim Davis has already passed the torch to his heir apparent, at least one other Republican is lining up to take a crack at his seat. 

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.

Sen. Davis up for fifth term

Franklin Republican Sen. Jim Davis is probably one of the most popular legislators in the state with his constituents, winning four straight elections and garnering support on the order of 75 percent in some counties. 

School systems need help with class size mandate

By John deVille • Guest Columnist

This is a letter I sent to Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin. Macon County Schools, Haywood County Schools, and all the other school systems in your district and the state of North Carolina, are bracing for a wave of fiscal chaos to wash over them this coming fall. This chaos can only be undone by you and your fellow senators.

Macon to receive $100,000 for community needs

Macon County will receive $100,000 to be used for “community purposes” thanks to help from Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin.

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