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Asheville City Council member Esther Manheimer filed as a candidate for Mayor just after noon today.
"Our challenges and opportunities have multiplied, and I see that our need for inclusive, inspired, strategic leadership is perhaps greater than ever," Manheimer said upon announcing her intent to file. "Because I am committed to providing that leadership, I will ask for the people's support to be elected as Asheville's next mayor."
Manheimer credits fellow civic leaders including citizen activists with teaching her a lot about how and where to lead our community.
“As a member of City Council, I've worked diligently and learned a lot from some remarkable people, such as my colleagues on the Council, Mayor Bellamy, city employees, members of the Buncombe County Commission, North Carolina State representatives, and the citizens of Asheville, including: a wide variety of social activists, business leaders, educators, clergy, and many other people who, each in their own ways, express how much they care about our community,” Manheimer said today. “We are united in caring deeply about Asheville. This is our shared home.”
“I feel moved to help strengthen and protect what is certainly one of the most attractive and livable towns in the United States,” Manheimer said. “I thank everyone for their past support and ask them to get involved in my campaign.”
Manheimer is Asheville’s Vice-Mayor, an honor and duty bestowed by her fellow City Council members. She was the top vote-getter in the city council race in 2009. She is chair of council’s planning and economic development committee and also the finance committee. Manheimer has shown strategic leadership, creating strong partnerships with employers who pay good wages and make long-term commitments to our community, including the Linamar Corporation and New Belgium Brewing Co.
Manheimer works as a business litigation attorney and volunteers with Pisgah Legal Services, having earned the 2012 Most Valuable Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer award. She is past president of the Jewish Community Center Board and a 2009 YWCA Tribute to Women of Influence (TWIN) Awards honoree.
Manheimer graduated from Asheville High. She earned a Masters of Public Administration and a Juris Doctor degree from UNC Chapel Hill. She is married to Mark Harris, a high school social studies teacher and wrestling coach. They have three sons who attend Asheville City Schools and participate in youth sports including Little League and soccer.