Tags:FROM THE ASHEVILLE TEA PARTY PAC
Both Democrat and Republican hopefuls for North Carolina’s 10th and 11th Congressional Districts have been invited to an open forum hosted by the Asheville Tea PAC.
The forum will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Skyland Fire Department at the corner of Hendersonville and Long Shoals Roads. The doors will be open at noon to give the public a chance to meet the candidates in person. At 1 p.m., candidates will give opening statements, then answer questions from the moderator, journalist John North.
Asheville Tea Party/PAC Chairperson Jane Bilello said she hoped for a big turnout from voters and candidates alike. “As a nonpartisan organization,” she said, “we want to give every candidate a chance to express his or her views, and how they fit with our values.”
Bilello also said there would be no straw poll following the forum. “We want an open exchange of views, not just a contest to see which candidate can pack the audience with his or her own supporters,” she said.
Both the 10th and 11th NC Congressional Districts were redrawn following the 2010 census, and the new lines for both districts face court challenges. Political observers think both districts will be more competitive if the new lines are upheld. That would mean closer races for incumbent Republican Patrick McHenry the 10th and incumbent Democrat Heath Shuler in the 11th.
Ophthalmologist Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, attorney Ed Krause, and salesman Kenny West are again seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Shuler, as they did in 2010. In 2010, businessman, Vance Patterson, formerly in the 10th and a challenger to McHenry in the last election, is now in the 11th due to redistricting; he is also challenging Shuler,
Also after the GOP 11 nod this year are retired Army officer Spence Campbell; Henderson, Transylvania Polk and Henderson counties District Attorney Jeff Hunt; real estate investor Mark Meadows; and consultant and lobbyist Chris Petrella.
On the Democrat side, Asheville City Mayor Terry Bellamy and incumbent NC Representative Patsy Keever are running for the chance to challenge McHenry in the new 10th district. Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell is mounting a primary challenge against Shuler for the Democratic 11th Congressional District nomination.