A spate of early announcements by local candidates hoping to gain seats in the North Carolina General Assembly may have voters feeling like they’ve been here before — because the candidates certainly have.
Joe Sam Queen counts his campaign wins and losses like innings in a baseball game.
Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, thought the third time would be a charm.
Born and raised in Swain County, Mike Clampitt is a sixth-generation Western North Carolinian with roots in the area dating back to the Revolutionary War.
Although the upcoming general election has much of the nation’s attention focused on just two candidates — a controversial populist and a former Secretary of State under investigation for mishandling classified material — local races offer considerably more palatable choices that will have a direct impact on the lives of area residents.
“I feel like a one-legged man at an ass kicking. They don’t care for me because I call them out. I try to inform the public of the truth, and they don’t like it.”
That’s the colorfully candid state Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, who is back in Raleigh this week as the General Assembly kicks off its biennial short session, which is traditionally devoted to making a few budget tweaks and perhaps passing some noncontroversial legislation.
After taking home 59 percent of the vote in last week’s election, Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, is looking toward a November contest against incumbent Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, for the N.C. House District 119 seat.
Election season is winding down to the finish line and both candidates in the N.C. House’s 119th District race are eyeing Raleigh. Challenger Mike Clampitt and incumbent Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, have been here before. They went up against each other in 2012 and both are back for more.
The campaign season — even these last frenzied weeks — suit Queen just fine. He loves the ballgames, homecomings and festivals.
N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, and Republican challenger Mike Clampitt are on a similar mission. Each is trying to assure voters they are nothing like the other guy.
Recently, the two candidates seeking the 119th District House seat faced off for a debate in Cullowhee hosted by Western Carolina University. The pair discussed education, healthcare and fracking. They got into immigration reform and term limits and more. And they disagreed at every turn.
In a last-minute turnaround, North Carolina lawmakers wrapped up their short session last week with passage of a bill granting Evergreen Packaging’s paper mill in Canton $12 million for natural gas upgrades.