Election Day 2013 in Asheville: A low-interest affair, punctuated by bulldinky

Jason Sandford

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

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tim_moffitt_2013Here’s a quick summary of the race for Asheville City Council, which will be decided in tomorrow’s election: Turnout is expected to be low. Spending by candidates is down. General interest hit a high point, if you can call it that, in Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell’s “bulldinky!” declaration in response to accusations by first-time candidate  and first-rate screamer Jonathan Wainscott a couple weeks back.

Why the malaise? With Raleigh lawmakers holding Asheville by the balls and running the city from the statehouse, the real election is next year. That’s when voters will go to the polls to elect members to the North Carolina House and Senate, as well as decide whether U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan gets another six years in Washington.

The questions for Asheville next year: can state Democrats undo the Republican majorities in the two houses? And more specifically, can anyone challenge, and beat, Rep. Tim Moffitt here in Buncombe County?

It’s well-documented that Republicans did a masterful job in the last round of redistricting. They redrew districts to solidify GOP gains. It’s also clear that Moffitt and his colleagues have done a superb job of wresting control of key assets away from Asheville’s local elected officials. From the local airport to the city water system to a new election system for Buncombe County commissioners, state lawmakers have struck serious blows against local control.

And there will likely be more. One big question – will Moffitt follow through with plans to submit a bill to institute district elections for Asheville City Council?

Local election watchers are focused on who might challenge Moffitt next year. Early word is that Steve Sizemore and Michelle Pace Wood are considering a run, as are others. Democrats would be wise to get their act together quickly and get behind one strong candidate, thus avoiding a time- and money-wasting primary fight. There’s no doubt that Moffitt and state Republicans will pour tens of thousands of dollars behind the effort to keep Moffitt in place. Any challenger will have to be prepared with a focused grassroots effort and strong financial support.

With so much action in Raleigh, it’s no surprise that few people care about this year’s Asheville City Council election. It’s Election Day 2014 that will set the course for Asheville.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. roo November 7, 2013

    The fat lady hasn’t sung on the airport seizure, either. Guess who’s still the trustee that signs off on grants per the FAA?

  2. theOtherBarry November 7, 2013


    They did a “superb job” of taking Asheville’s water system? I don’t think the fat lady has sung on that one.

  3. Abe Lincoln November 5, 2013

    Tim Moffit is a piece of $$$hit

  4. Steve Sizemore November 5, 2013

    First, thanks to Dmitri for the support.
    Second, I do not live in Biltmore Forest.
    Third, considering the antics of many in the State Legislature, I am certain there will be many who are interested and eager to run for various offices. Given the level of dissatisfaction with many in the Legislature, I am confident there will be plenty of to support for those who run and people will work together to ensure that not only do our elected officials actually represent the people in their districts, but also represent the best interests of our communities.
    Fourth, happy election day!

    Steve Sizemore

  5. D.Dial November 5, 2013

    Seriously we need the city broken up into districts, stat!

    I sat in on nearly all forums and they’re a joke. Set up to favor incumbents. Hard questions about the police chief and City management limited to oversimplified yes/no answers. And a newspaper that does hit jobs on the opponents while ignoring all the failures of the incumbants.

  6. Michelle Pace Wood November 5, 2013

    Just popping by to say I’m not planning a run for House 116 in 2014. Happy Election Day everyone!

    1. Jason Sandford November 5, 2013

      Thank you Michelle.

  7. GordoSmithiness November 5, 2013

    I think everyone here unintentionally hit the nail on the head regarding Tim Moffitt.

    First, Dmitri, Tim’s from here. Secondly, Dmitri, your nativist argument that you don’t like people from here isn’t going to fly with your political bosses. See Gordon’s passionate attack against nativism in this post: http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2008/01/07/the-i-26-connector/

    Secondly, to beat Tim Moffitt, you need a white male from Biltmore Forest? That’s pretty rich. What happened to Occupy Wall Street? What happened to the people’s party? So you’ll replace Tim with a rich man from a mansion, and claim he upholds the mantle of progressivism? Steve will laugh all the way to the bank on that one.

    Control is a lot more localized now with district elections. Just ask everyone from 115 and 116. Everyone from Asheville seems to miss the boat on this one. Asheville liked local control when it was bossing the county around; now that the hicks from the east and west are electing their own people, Asheville’s pissed. Ashevillians just don’t seem to get it that the county rednecks don’t share their views. Until 114 realizes that 116 doesn’t want to be under 114’s thumb, this tension isn’t going anywhere.

    I still can’t get over Steve (who lost his last election by the way, because he was so popular). 4 years ago, Bruce Goforth wasn’t good enough for Asheville. Now the Buncombe Democrats need more rich, white, males from mansions to express their views. Classic.

    1. Murphy November 7, 2013

      Why do you feel it necessary to denegrate anyone who has achieved success honestly…

  8. Dmitri Raveninoff November 4, 2013

    Steve Sizemore is the perfect opposition candidate.

    A Biltmore Forest resident, Steve is a graduate of Western Carolina and a well respected lawyer. He has roots here in WNC that Moffitt can’t claim.

    And as a resident of Biltmore Forest, Steve may have particular insight as to why the Skyland Fire Department got the contract for fire protection services of his town over Asheville FD. It’s a badly kept secret that Moffitt engineered this change as a preliminary move in his quest to have Skyland de-annexed from Asheville.

    Moffitt has over-reached in his move for the privatization of WNC and the voters have seen that. He constantly lies, both to the media and his constituents, and when his bid to takeover Asheville’s water system fails, will be left with what he started with: a grudge against the Asheville city government.

    Go Steve Go!

  9. D.Dial November 4, 2013

    The famous “bulldinky smackdown” http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/40032363

    1. NFB November 5, 2013


  10. nfb November 4, 2013

    Any speculation as to who might run against Moffitt puppet Nathan Ramsey?

    1. Jason Sandford November 4, 2013

      Haven’t heard any names on that front…

  11. Tim Peck November 4, 2013

    The people who voted for Representative Moffitt are quite pleased with his performance in the General Assembly and would like to see more of the same. After he was elected the first time, he won re-election with even greater numbers. I expect that trend to continue and I expect Representative Moffitt to gain in stature in the legislature. Good.

    1. luther blissett November 5, 2013

      More stature for Moffitt, more fringe benefits for his lickspittle Moffitteers?

      1. roo November 6, 2013

        People worshipped power in 1930s Italy, too.

  12. Kelly Prime November 4, 2013

    I can’t wait to cast a vote against this crook!


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