Here in western North Carolina, probably the most high-profile race in the 2020 primaries is the contest over the 11th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the Republican primary, 12 candidates are all seeking the nomination of the GOP to become the successor to U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, who announced he would not seek another term. The winner of the Republican primary will go on to face the Democratic nominee in the November general election.
The 12 Republicans seeking the nomination of their party are listed in alphabetical order:
» Chuck Archerd of P.O. Box 5411 in Asheville. He is a business owner, farmer and a retired real estate investor.
» Lynda Bennett of P.O. Box 5 in Maggie Valley. She’s worked 33 years in the real estate industry and owned a vacation rental management company in Haywood County.
» Matthew Burril of Two Town Square Suite 200 in Asheville. He is the owner of BrickStreet Equity Management and chairman of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority. He is a native of Marion and a graduate of McDowell High School.
» Madison Cawthorn of 657 N. Rugby Road in Hendersonville. He is the owner and CEO of a real estate investment company and is also a motivational speaker.
» Jim Davis of 37 Georgia Road in Franklin. He is an orthodontist and a former Macon County commissioner. He is a state senator representing the N.C. Senate’s 50th District, which includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.
» Dan Driscoll of 114 Ridge St. N.W. in Lenoir. He is an Army veteran and has worked for an investment firm that helps build small businesses across the state.
» Steven Fekete Jr. of 1318 Idlewood St. in Lenoir. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and worked for UPS for 27 years.
» Dillon S. Gentry of P.O. Box 1811 in Banner Elk. He is a former Marine squad leader, tactical shooting school manager and human resources technology consultant.
» Wayne King of P.O. Box 944 in Kings Mountain. He is the deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows and former vice-chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
» Joey Osborne of 431 6th St. N.W. in Hickory. He is a life-long entrepreneur and currently serves as CEO of Authority Franchise Systems LLC, a company he founded in 2009 and it operates in 38 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Canada with more than 500 employees supporting 85,000 clients. He is a licensed private pilot.
» Vance Patterson of 4950 Canterbury Place in Morganton. He is an entrepreneur who has started 21 companies, two of which make industrial fans. Through his Foundation Forward, he has given more than 14 Charters of Freedom settings, including the one for McDowell County.
» Albert Wiley Jr. of P.O. Box 588 in Salter Path. He’s worked as a nuclear engineer, cancer specialist and with the Department of Energy. He is a veteran.
The Democratic candidates will be featured in Thursday’s edition.