Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.Now that we’ve had about a month to digest the 2014 midterm elections, it’s time to look ahead to Election 2015 and the race for three Asheville City Council seats. Candidates are already beginning to jockey for position, with the filing period opening up in the spring.

First up is James Bullman, a homeless man who the Asheville Citizen-Times reported has officially announced his bid to run. Reporter Joel Burgess wrote:

Bullman, who said he is disabled from post traumatic stress disorder, made his candidacy known on social media. The race is nonpartisan, but he has noted his Republican party affiliation. Homelessness issues are not the main focus his agenda, he said. …

Instead, he talked about issues including promoting food growing by residents, gun-rights advocacy and an emphasis on being a voice for “heterosexual married couples.”

Who else is thinking about running? West Asheville neighborhood activist Rich Lee has expressed an interest in seeking a seat. Lee has taken an active part in discussions surrounding the construction of New Belgium Brewing’s new East Coast brewery on Craven Street in West Asheville.

Who else? Julie Mayfield, co-executive director of the Western North Carolina Alliance, has said that she is also considering a run. Mayfield has been active regarding transportation issues in Asheville – most notably the proposed Interstate 26 Connector – as well as with environmental issues through the nonprofit WNCA.

The three seats up for election are those held by Councilmen Jan Davis, Marc Hunt and Chris Pelly. As far as I know, none of the three incumbents has said publicly whether they will seek re-election in 2015.



  1. Unaffiliated Voter says:

    Julie Mayfield ??? are ya’ll KIDDING? Her crediblity just got shot all to hell over the duped Duke Energy customers that she attacked through intimidation …

  2. This will be fun to watch. As loyal butt boy for the present leadership it looks like RichieLee is calling in his favors. Wonder when the other designated butt boys (MattChristie & Barry Summers) will step up for their just rewards.

    Wonder if the powers that be, will let the tools into the sandbox.

  3. jonathan wainscott says:

    Rich Lee isn’t a council member, but he plays one on Facebook.

  4. Keane Wainscott says:

    “Charles says:
    December 8, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Find any Facebook thread with Rich and Jonathan or Keane Wainscott. Lots and lots of venom. All three seem to want good things for the community but again all three would scream on Facebook all day at each other over years old grievances at the expense of actually getting anything done.”

    Ironically, I was the person who encouraged Rich Lee (then “Ricky Lee”) to get active regarding issues related to New Belgium project (and it’s impact on the East West Asheville community). Shortly after getting involved, Mr. Lee shifted his energy into advancing himself as a undesignated leader of a local neighborhood association. It became clear that Mr. Lee’s sights were set on his own personal and political agenda.

    As far as any “venom” is concerned, I was forced to “block” communication/interaction with Mr. Lee due to his aggressive and predatory nature on social media.
    There has been no contact with this individual (on my part)by design.

  5. What happens if Cecil Bowthwell, Gordon Smith, Chris Pelly, and Rich Lee are all on the same facbeook page? Is that a quorum? Can we start holding City Council meetings that way?

    That’d be an improvement over watching them on TV. We could all rate their comments for some instant feedback. True democracy.

    Not knowing anything, I’d expect Hunt and Pelly to run again, not sure about Jan Davis.

    • Unaffiliated Voter says:

      seating ALL liberal democrats is the focus of the sitting liberal non-leaders.

      I hear the Rich Lee guy is a clone of Gordon Smithiness…

  6. Roger McCredie says:

    Correction: Without looking it up, I think I did in fact quote Rich Lee — once — in an article about New Belgium several months ago. The quote was verbatim and was unaccompanied by any editorial elaboration.

    • Luckily, you’ve provided that for us here:

      “it appears that his public relations platform is built around insulting people who disagree with him.”

      Hey, you’ve turned off the link in your name to the Tribune Papers!

  7. The Tribune, Davyne Dial, and Tim Peck are all ‘agin’ Rich Lee?

    Until I learn something new, that means I’m ‘fer’ him.

    • Hmmm. A conservative, a progressive and a libertarian agree.

      Case closed.

      • Wait – which one are you? I thought you were an “Objectivist” or “Independist” or “Zoroastrianist” or whatever made-up philosophy that Ayn Rand peddled in her science-fiction novels.

        BTW, still patiently waiting for you to bring down the “he got what he deserved” ruling on Eric Garner. The cop in that case was “proven innocent” by the grand jury, just like Darren Wilson, right?

        • This whole back & forth thing between you too is too funny. You guys remind of 2 kindergarteners who constantly fight each other on the playground.

    • Roger McCredie says:

      The Tribune has never printed a word about Rich Lee one way or the other, and indeed as far as I know has taken no notice of him at all. My observations are my own, and were observations based on firsthand experience. Now go away.

    • Ha! That’s a lot of power your ascribing to me. Hot dam! I’m a “kingmaker” according to b.s.

      What a load.

  8. radio follower says:

    I’ve never met Rich Lee, but I keep up with his postings on West Aseheville Neighborhood Association and West Asheville Exchange. I’ve not known him to be venomous. He has been, in my book, very tapped into what is going on in our community. He’s helpful and informative.

    Tim Peck, to call Rich Lee a troll shows your ignorance. Unlike you, he has no agenda. He’s much more into community than you’ll ever be. Unless, of course, you’re talking about “Timmy Town”. You can have that community.

    Rich Lee would have my vote in a heartbeat.

    • Find any Facebook thread with Rich and Jonathan or Keane Wainscott. Lots and lots of venom. All three seem to want good things for the community but again all three would scream on Facebook all day at each other over years old grievances at the expense of actually getting anything done.

  9. Angela Phillips says:

    Rich Lee will spend the next year clearing his comments on social media to prepare for the race. He is the most obnoxious person I have ever encountered on social media. Asheville beware.

  10. jonathan wainscott says:

    Love it. We haven’t even inaugurated the winners in the 2014 general election, and we are already talking about the City election in 2015. Perhaps this is why Asheville has less than 20% voter turnout.

    Anyway, Rich Lee is bringing many great things to East West Asheville and he should make an excellent Council member. One of the things he is responsible for is the new bike lane an Haywood Road, and he’s convinced Duke power to create a greenway along the French Broad River. Currently, he is working on the new Haywood Road art project ( ) which will place this new West Asheville logo every 100 feet on Haywood Road. He is really tight with Gordon Smith (also an East West Asheville pillar of leadership, and fellow English major with Lee), and Cecil Bothwell. Mr. Lee is also an administrator of the facebook group, Asheville Politics, where really meaty issues are given thorough inspection and consideration. Last but not least, Richard Gerald Lee III is on the Board of Directors of EWANA (East West Asheville Neighborhood Association) which has held several potlucks in recent years.

  11. I have never met Mr. Lee. I understand he is a financial advisor (read: broker) affiliated with Edward Jones. He has been heavily involved, both on social media and in a neighborhood association, as a cheerleader for New Belgium Brewing. I have seen a good many of his postings and it appears that his public relations platform is built around insulting people who disagree with him.

  12. He’s a troll, I believe. A real rotten egg. That’s what people tell me, at any rate. Perfect for city council.

    • Bwaa-haa-haa-haaaaa!!

      How much did he pay you to say that? Given the magic you worked on Tim Moffitt’s campaign, your negative endorsement has got to be worth a lot.

      Oh, and before I forget, when can we expect to see your condemnation over the Eric Garner protest? The cop that killed him was “proven innocent” by the grand jury, right, just like Darren Wilson?

  13. Robert Roland says:

    Rich Lee? Who is that some random blogger?

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