The word on the street is that John Ager will challenge Republican N.C. Rep. Nathan Ramsey in Buncombe County’s state House District 115. If Ager tosses his hat in, it would set up a fascinating race.
Ager and his wife, Annie, are part owners of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, which produces local meats and vegetables. The farm is owned by the children of James and Elspeth Clarke. James “Jamie” Clarke, a Democrat, started his own political career in the N.C. House in the mid 1970s. In 1982, Clarke was elected to the represent Western North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. Congress. The district’s voters gained a national reputation for flip-flopping between Democratic and Republican candidates at the time, as Clarke lost to Bill Hendon (the candidate he narrowly defeated in ’82) in the ’84 election. Clarke won in ’86, then narrowly fended off Charles Taylor in ’88 before losing to Taylor in ’90.
Ramsey is an attorney and diary farmer in Fairview who served eight years as chairman of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners before winning his first term in the N.C. House in 2012. Here’s part of Ramsey’s announcement statement in 2012, where he set out what he planned to do:
Speaking to families and businesses throughout our community, I realize most of us are desperately trying to survive the worst economic recession in generations. As Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for eight years, a small business owner, dairy farmer, and attorney, I will be a passionate voice in Raleigh for pro-job policies so that Buncombe County will see a better future. As a member of the N.C. General Assembly, I will urge that state government build stronger partnerships with our local communities and businesses to improve our schools, streamline state government, and make North Carolina the best place to start a business and to create jobs.
This will be one to watch if Ager’s in.
Ager boys and Ramsey boys debating politics goes way back. Should be very interesting.
Good to hear both Ramsey and Moffitt will face formidable and well connected opponents!
The Agers have positively touched a lot of lives in this community, so I hope this rumor is true. Nathan Ramsey has made some bad choices in Raleigh, and he’s disappointed votes who thought he would take a more moderate approach.
I hope this is true. The Ager’s are great folks with a strong sense of community. Mr. Ramsey seems to be a decent man but made a fatal error by hitching his wagon to Tim Moffitt.