Seven of the eight candidates running for three Asheville City Council seats attended a meet-and-greet sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County this Tuesday, Sept. 20. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization committed to voter education and civic participation. Asheville City Council candidates Mark Cates, Saul Chase, Jan Davis (the sole incumbent running for re-election), Lael Gray, Marc Hunt, Chris Pelly and TJ Thomasson attended the event, hosted in The Century Room of Pack’s Tavern. Candidate Tim Peck was unable to attend and current Council member Bill Russell withdrew from the race on September 9. About fifty to sixty people attended the event.
Leah Karpen, a former League of Women Voters president and current League of Women Voters member, explains, “The League of Women Voters hosts events like this meet-and-greet to provide the general public with the opportunity to interact with candidates one on one prior to the primary. The League [of Women Voters] is nonpartisan and does not support or oppose any candidate.”
Kent Wolff, a downtown Asheville resident, said of the event, “I thought it was extremely informative…it was good to have an opportunity to talk to candidates one on one and hear their detailed positions on the issues that matter to me the most.”
The League of Women Voters will also host a formal, moderated forum at the UNCA Reuter Center from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18. In addition, the League of Women Voters will host a moderated forum for the Weaverville Town Council candidates on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Weaverville Town Hall.
The City of Asheville primary election will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and the general election and countywide referendum will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8. One-stop early voting for the Asheville City Council primary election begins on Thursday, Sept. 22 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 8 at Election Services (35 Woodfin Street). During this “one-stop” voting period, voters may apply to register to vote and cast their ballots on the same day.
Karen Oelschlaeger is the Online Communications Director of the League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County
Photos by Davyne Dial