A voter’s guide to the 2014 WNC election

Stories from the 2014 midterm election:

Three incumbents, one new candidate win Haywood School Board seats

Cochran wins a third term

Hall wins sheriff’s seat

Welch wins DA race decided by a landslide

Commissioner challengers win two, lose one in Jackson

Haywood commissioners back for another four years

Bushyhead, Burns demand ‘change’

Haven ousted; Shields top vote-getter

Presnell holds onto state seat

Queen shuts down Clampitt, again

Davis pulls out a win, pledges to  continue Republican direction in Raleigh


Important dates

Voter registration deadline: Friday, Oct. 10

Early voting: Click here for a list of early voting sites and hours by county

Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 4. Polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


US Congress

Snap shot of US House race in WNC

Congressional candidates debate on stage


North Carolina General Assembly

The GOP’s new normal in Raleigh — Are you for it or against it?

Class warfare looms in debate over state tax reform

Legislative races, a primer: what seats are up, who’s running, and what district do I vote in?

Click here for map of N.C. House seats 

Click here for map of N.C. Senate seats


NC Senate: the big race for the seven western counties

A day in the life: Sen. Jim Davis makes the rounds, confident of outcome

A day in the life: A political newcomer finds her stride

Will mountain senate race land in the state spotlight again?

Pass the popcorn: crowd relishes an action-packed NC Senate debate

N.C. Senate debate gets dicey when candidates talk race

A drive by version of the NC Senate debate

Revisit old coverage of the Democatic primary for this seat back in May with THIS STORY on Democrats stepping up to the plate or THIS STORY on the primary victor Jane Hipps


NC House 119: the race for Haywood, Jackson and Swain

Queen, Clampitt battle it out again

Queen and Clampitt square off at debate


NC House 118: the race for Haywood, Madison and Yancey

NC Legislative primer

House 118th seat showdown


District attorney: battle for top prosecutor in the seven western counties 

A race primer

Meet the candidates for district attorney

DA candidates spar over work, family and gender

Belated handling of extradition order causes controversy in DA race

The trials and tribulations of running for DA: mechanics of a race

DA candidates face off at debate

Open district attorney seat attracts its first takers: meet Jim Moore

A new candidate joins district attorney race: meet Ashley Welch


County races

Haywood County commissioners 

What’s up for election? Three out of five seats on the county board. 

About the race: The current Haywood commissioners have enjoyed a stable tenure, consistently winning their seats when they come up for re-election. All three incumbents are Democrats, with long histories of elected office. The three challengers are running on similar platforms, two of them Republicans and one of them a Libertarian.

Quick snapshots of the candidates

Haywood trio seek to oust incumbents, reduce local government

Haywood incumbents cite progressive, responsible leadership

Challenger Denny King spars with county over property values

Haywood County school board 

Ten vie for Haywood school board seats


Jackson County commissioner

What’s up for election? Three of the five seats on the board.

About the race: There was a major power shift in county politics four years, after an upset election ushered in a new conservative-leaning majority power bloc on the board. The three sitting commissioners on the ballot in 2010, all Democrats, were ousted the three challengers: two Republicans and a conservative-leaning independent.

This year, Democrats are trying to take back the seats they lost, and voters will have a chance to endorse or oust the new leadership that took over four years ago.

Do I vote in all the districts, or just mine? Every voter in Jackson County gets to vote for every commissioner seat, no matter where you live in the county. While the county is parceled up into four territories for the commissioners race, the geographic districts only apply to the candidates. Candidates must live in the district of the seat they are running for, but are elected by voters countywide.

Quick snapshots of the candidates

Clash of the Titans: the race for Jackson chairman 

Is Chairman Debnam really an independent?

Jackson commissioners candidates discuss fracking during forum

Jackson commissioner candidates: The issues

Showdown in Jackson


Macon County commissioners

What’s up for election: One seat in the Highlands district and two seats in the Franklin district.

About the race: There are three commissioner seats up for election in Macon County: one seat for the district representing the Highlands area and two seats for the district representing the Franklin area. All three incumbents are running.

The race presents an interesting mix of candidates: a couple Democrats, a couple moderate Republicans, a conservative Republican, and a Libertarian. Voting won’t necessarily be along party lines, and could be a hard race to predict, but an historic one when it comes to how conservative or moderate the county will swing.

Do I vote in all the districts, or just mine? Every voter in Macon County gets to vote for every commissioner seat, no matter where you live in the county. While the county is parceled up into three territories for the commissioners race, the geographic districts only apply to the candidates. Candidates must live in the district of the seat they are running for, but that’s the only import of the districts.

Quick snapshot of the candidates

Haven faces election challenge over residency

Election challenge reveals rift in Republican direction

Education, tax rates on ballot in Macon


Swain County commissioners race

What’s up for election? All five seats on the county board are up for election, including four commissioner seats and commissioner chairman, although the chairman’s seat is uncontested.

About the race: As usual, it will be a long shot for Republican challengers trying to wrest a commissioner seat away from the Democrat incumbents on the board. But that hasn’t stopped a couple from trying.

The Democratic primary in May saw far greater competition, and in that race, an upset took out two of the four sitting commissioners on the ballot. This means there will be least two new faces on the board

This is the last year that all the commissioner seats will come up for election at the same time. Going forward, the terms will be staggered — instead of all the seats being on the ballot every four years, half the seats will be up for election at a time, with alternating seats up on the ballot every two years. This year’s commissioner election will set the stage for staggered terms. The top two vote getters will serve a full four years. But the third and fourth highest vote getters will only serve two years before their seats are up for election again. They will resume a four-year election schedule after that, with alternating election cycles established.

Swain voters approved the switch to staggered terms in a ballot question in 2012. It passed with 2,912 voters in favor of staggered terms compared to 1,930 against.

Quick snapshot of the candidates

Swain commissioners candidates discuss issues facing county


Haywood County Sheriff 

About the race: And the winner is…. Sheriff Greg Christopher. Christopher has proven immensely popular and effective in just a short time, after being named sheriff barely a year ago after the sitting sheriff at the time stepped down. No one is running against him.


Jackson County sheriff 

About the race: After a heated and crowded primary that narrowed the field from nine. The two men left standing are:

• Democrat Chip Hall, chief deputy in the sheriff’s department.

• Republican Curtis Lambert, a former Sylva police officer.

Current Sheriff Jimmy Ashe is stepping down, which opened the floodgates on candidates running in the primary.

Can Hall capitalize on his role of "second-in-command" at the sheriff's department under Ashe, without owning Ashe's baggage from the past four year? Can Lambert prove he has the experience to do the job?

Quick snapshots of the candidates 

Candidates talk about the issues 

Republican run-off settles who will be on the ballot


Macon County sheriff

About the race: Robbie Holland has served as Macon’s sheriff for the past 12 years, and is headed for another four. Holland handedly cleaned up in the May primary against a Republican challenger, and faces no Democratic opposition in the general election.


Swain County sheriff

About the race:

Meet the candidates 


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