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Woodhouse announces congressional run

Casting herself as a swamp-draining outsider, Republican N.C. District 11 chairwoman and Laurel Park resident Michele V. Woodhouse announced Thursday that she is running for the now re-numbered 14th Congressional District that includes Henderson County.

“Join me in letting the swamp know we are coming. We are coming to take back the house,” Woodhouse said to chants of “Michele” as she made her announcement at Henderson County’s Republican Party headquarters. “We are coming to save America.”
A standing-room only crowd of at least 60 people filled the office space to hear Woodhouse’s announcement. She spoke with many individually both before and after her announcement while shaking hands, offering hugs and taking photographs.
Woodhouse, 52, said in an interview shortly after her announcement that she decided to run for 14th District seat at the urging of constituents after incumbent Republican District 11 Rep. Madison Cawthorn decided to seek a second term in the new District 13. Woodhouse is one of four candidates who have announced a run for the Republican nomination and numerous others are mulling a campaign.

Woodhouse is a former medical and pharmaceutical sales rep who owns a business called Purple Door Aesthetics. She has been active in Republican Party politics in Raleigh and in Michigan. Dallas Woodhouse, the former executive director of the state Republican Party, is her husband’s cousin.
After her announcement, Woodhouse described herself as an outsider in the Republican Party and an outspoken woman who doesn’t “look like a Republican.”
Woodhouse began her announcement to the sounds of the crowd chanting “Michele” and the ringing of small red bells that supporters handed out.
Woodhouse pledged that if elected she would say no to President Biden, no to borrowing money, no to infrastructure bills with no infrastructure, no to schools that indoctrinate children and no to government mandates and overreach.
Securing the southern border is also a priority because Woodhouse said recent illegal immigrants crossing the border in just a few weeks totaled the population of several counties in Western North Carolina. She also mentioned planes arriving in Asheville in the dark of night with illegal immigrants.

Woodhouse told her supporters she wants to protect the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, protect the born and the unborn and save the country from liberals including the liberal congresswomen known as The Squad.
“Send a true conservative warrior to fight the swamp,” she said. “I’m not a politician. I’m a patriot,”
Woodhouse described herself to the crowd as a woman raised in Detroit who has deep roots in Western North Carolina. She said she is also a mother, later a single-mom and a born-again believer.
Her parents, Mae and Gary Van Hooser, stood alongside Woodhouse as she made her announcement. Her mother said the family was originally from Macon County but moved to Michigan in the 1940s in search of better job opportunities. The family moved back to WNC later as members began to retire.
Her parents taught her the value of hard work and that she could be anything, Woodhouse said.
“All I’ve ever known is hard work because of these two people,” Woodhouse said of her parents.
Mark Tice, a Baptist preacher from the Cruso community of Haywood County, introduced Woodhouse to those gathered for her announcement.
He said he was impressed with Woodhouse when she came to visit the community after it was hit hard with the loss of life and property during flooding over the summer. Unlike others who came for photo opportunities, Woodhouse came to worship and later said she prayed over her decision to run for Congress. He said he was impressed by her character and compassion.
“If changes are going to be made, they are going to have to happen with compassion,” Tice said.

Redrawn to reach north to Watauga County — including Democratic-voting Boone — the new 14th Congressional District becomes slightly bluer, although few would regard it as competitive. Two years ago, when U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows resigned to become President Trump’s chief of staff, the primary drew 10 candidates. Cawthorn won the nomination when he defeated Meadows’ hand-picked successor, Lynda Bennett, in a runoff.
In addition to Woodhouse, candidates running for the Republican nomination are two military veterans — Navy veteran Wendy Nevarez and retired Army Col. Rod Honeycutt — and Pisgah Inn owner Bruce O’Connell. Other potential candidates include state Sens. Chuck Edwards of Flat Rock, Deanna Ballard of Watauga County and Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine; and Matthew Burril, a retired financial adviser and Asheville Regional Airport Authority board member who announced a campaign before withdrawing in 2020.