Buncombe Board of Commissioners Election 2016 takes shape as Smith, Coleman prepare runs

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.Election 2016, a presidential election year, is also shaping up to be a hot one on the local level in Asheville, as candidates line up to run for seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

Asheville City Councilman Gordon Smith today announced his intention to seek a seat on the county board. From his press release:

City Council Member Gordon Smith today announced his intention to run for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in District One. Smith has served on Asheville City Council since 2009 and has been a policy leader on job creation, affordable housing, food security, transportation, and equality. He is Chair of the city’s Housing and Community Development Committee and Chair of the four-county Asheville Regional Housing Consortium. Smith will make a formal announcement later this year or early next year.

Smith’s announcement comes a little over a week after County Commissioner Holly Jones announced that she would seek the office of North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor.

“Holly Jones is a true champion for everyday people and those in need. She’s going to make a great Lieutenant Governor,” Smith said. ”We share the values of fairness and opportunity for all, and we’re both committed to public service. It’s exciting to see Holly step up to take those values statewide.”

Buncombe County Commissioners Holly Jones and Brownie Newman currently represent the county’s District 1. Jones announced last week that she’s running for statewide office in seeking the lieutenant governor’s seat. And Newman announced that he’s running for chairman of the county board after current Chairman David Gantt announced that he won’t be seeking re-election next year.

Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell, a Democrat, recently announced his intention to run for the county board’s District 1, as well. He’s a two-termer on City Council who has run unsuccessfully in the past for the county board, and for congress.

A third Democrat is seeking to represent the county’s District 1. Isaac Coleman is a long-time community civil rights activist. He was named an “Asheville living treasure” last year, and in receiving that accolade, it was noted that in addition to working for educational and economic opportunities for minorities, Coleman had a long career as a building inspector and housing authority manager. His community services also includes work on the following: Black Appalachian Commission; Fair Housing Commission; Buncombe County Democratic Party; Clean Water for North Carolina; Education Coalition; Kindness Campaign; Just Economics; Read to Succeed.


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Tim Peck August 24, 2015

    You progressives are being played like a piano.

    1. Barry Summers August 25, 2015

      Keep driving away those moderates – we’ll take ’em. Thanks for all you do for the left in this town.

  2. Nate August 22, 2015

    The county commission districts were deliberately designed by the Republicans to concentrate as many Democratic voters as possible into District 1. The party will have no trouble continuing to hold those two seats as long as they don’t run idiots for them, and as long as Republicans turn to more conservative candidates and drive away moderates.

  3. Henry August 21, 2015

    Cecil-Gordon cage match!

    1. NFB August 21, 2015

      I’ll bring the popcorn!


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