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Politics

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McDonald running on 'overwhelming accomplishments'

Charlie McDonald filed for re-election as sheriff on Monday, Feb. 19. Charlie McDonald filed for re-election as sheriff on Monday, Feb. 19.

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Charlie McDonald filed for re-election as sheriff on Monday, Feb. 19.

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Sheriff Charlie McDonald filed for re-election as Henderson County sheriff on Monday, vowing to run "on my proven record of keeping campaign promises and the overwhelming accomplishments of our agency over the last six years."

"It has taken six challenging years to bury once and for all, the 'good ol’ boy' system that leads to inefficiency and corruption," said McDonald, who ran as a reformer in 2014, two years after his appointment to lead a department tainted by scandal. "I have demonstrated the courage, integrity and the resolve to make the tough decisions. The Sheriff’s Office has responded with courage and enthusiasm and has reaped the reward of their hard work. We are equipping leaders for today and building leaders for tomorrow to better serve you."

Lowell Griffin, a former sheriff's deputy and now a captain with the Polk County sheriff's office, also has filed for the seat and faces McDonald in the May 8 Republican primary.

Here is McDonald's announcement:

"The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is culturally, technically and professionally, much improved from when I became Sheriff in the turmoil of 2012. Our deputies, detention officers, telecommunicators, staff and citizen volunteers who refuse to settle for “good enough” have courageously accepted the challenges of institutional change and embraced the call to greater accountability from the top down.  Their commitment to integrity and their willingness to sacrifice what was comfortable for what is right, has made the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office exceptional. 

"Our deputies and staff never cease to amaze me as they work and train diligently to provide responsive, innovative and compassionate service to our citizens. Unparalleled teamwork has enabled us to not only meet, but to exceed our stated crime reduction goals five years in a row. To fight drug abuse in our community we have increased prevention, education, enforcement and assistance to those addicted. Our leadership in partnering with various non-profits, volunteer groups and agencies in the region has allowed us to increase our effectiveness in working for a healthier and safer Henderson County. We have joined with others to address drug addiction, domestic violence, mental health concerns, and inmate recidivism to name a few. We are demonstrating how partnerships between law enforcement and the citizens whom we serve bring synergy, success, and hope to our community."

"If you approve of my vision, my record for getting difficult things done and the quality and professionalism of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, then I would ask for your prayers, your support and your vote.  May God continue to bless Henderson County and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office."

McCall files for Board of Commissioners

Rebecca McCall, a Henderson County native and granddaughter of former three-term county Commissioner Clyde Jackson, has filed to run for the open seat on the Board of Commissioners. Tim Griffin also has filed to run for the District 4 seat. Both are Republicans.  McCall would be the first woman to serve on the board since 2002, when Marilyn Gordon her re-election bid to Larry Young in a Republican primary.

Here is McCall's news release:

Our current District 4 Commissioner Tommy Thompson will retire from this seat at the end of the year and I commend him for his years of service to the county, not only as commissioner for District 4 but for his many years as Clerk of Court. Tommy clearly serves with focus on what will be of greatest benefit for all citizens of Henderson County. If elected, I will endeavor to maintain this high level of knowledge and awareness of needs in our county and for our citizens.  

County Commissioners are entrusted with the care and handling of county funds. As a former business owner and corporate professional, I strongly recognize the seriousness and transparency of this responsibility.

Experience

I bring forty years of practical working experience in areas of accounting, engineering, and business management. The past 25 years of my career have been with two major Fortune 500 companies (GE Lighting & Hubbell Lighting) where I received some of the best management education available. At GE, I graduated in the first leadership class of Six Sigma specialists, trained in the use of statistical analysis to solve problems and improve processes. With Hubbell, I led multiple problem solving kaizen events to identify major cost saving opportunities. I managed multi-million dollar projects in areas of product development and facilities construction. Currently, I work as Production Manager for Norafin (Americas), Inc, where I am tasked with managing the functional details for the new factory in Mills River.

Along with my corporate experience and training, I earned degrees in Mechanical Drafting & Design from Blue Ridge Community College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Montreat College.

I am a Henderson County native and graduated from East Henderson High School with the Class of 1974. It was my privilege to serve as Senior Class President. My grandfather Clyde Jackson, for whom Jackson Park is named, served for 12 years on the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. My other grandfather was William A Baxter, who held the office of Mayor of Laurel Park for many years. 

I have been married to Ernest McCall (who also grew up in Henderson County) for 41 years.  Together, we have raised three children, Ernest Jr. (Bud), Erik and Katie (Lamb), who are all married, working and raising families in Henderson County. We have six beautiful grandchildren, four of whom are presently attending Henderson County schools. My family and I are all active members of Bethel Wesleyan Church in Flat Rock where I have attended for the past 41 years. As you can see, my roots run deep in Henderson County. 

We have been incredibly blessed that our children were able to come back, find good jobs and raise their families here. We are also blessed that we live in an area where folks want to visit and move. And those are the reasons why I feel so compelled to give back my time and expertise to the place we call home.

Our county has experienced tremendous growth over the last 40 years and our quality of life and strong economy make that a trend that will almost certainly continue.

Those blessings come with challenges as they strain our existing infrastructure of roads, water, sewer, schools, law enforcement and fire fighters. And those are challenges that require leaders with the understanding of budgets, communication and collaboration; skills I have honed over the past 25 years in my professional and volunteer life.

We must work in collaboration, with our School Board, Sheriff Department, surrounding municipalities and NCDOT to make sure that we are on the same page in developing solutions. We must continue to be proactive in recruiting business and industry to our area in order to create and maintain jobs that pay well. And we must continue to be proactive in creating and maintaining those green spaces and other public areas that add to our quality of life.

As a native of Henderson County with children and grandchildren who live, work and attend school here, I have a desire to make sure that the business of the county is handled in the best interest of all citizens and that those decisions help design the future of the county for the best of all concerned. 

I look forward to meeting and listening to as many of your as possible in the coming months. Please visit my website at www.rebeccamccall.com for updates and additional information about me and my campaign.

McGrady live-streams filing

Chuck McGrady has filed for office many times — from the Flat Rock Village Council in the early 1990s to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners and for the N.C. House starting in 2010. When he filed Friday for a fifth term in the N.C. House of Representatives, he did something he had never done before. He live-streamed the process.

McGrady walked up to the counter at the Henderson County Board of Elections, signed the paperwork for office, made an audio recording of his name for the elections board audio voting service and paid his filing fee — all while a campaign worker used an iPhone to tape the action. He said the live-streaming was the way for the public to see what the process was all about.

In other new filings on Friday, Michael Edney filed for re-election to the Board of Commissioners and U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, the Republican incumbent, and Dr. Scott Donaldson, a Democrat, filed for the 11th Congressional District.

Popular North Henderson teacher files for School Board

On Thursday, Dot Case, who taught history and government at Edneyville and North Henderson high schools for 47 years,  filed to run for the Henderson County School Board.

One of the most popular teachers at North for many years, Case retired in 2016 after 47 years in the classroom, first at the old Edneyville Union School and then at North Henderson High School. A native of Mills River and graduate of West Henderson High School, Case was a Presidential Scholars Teacher in 1983 and the winner of numerous other teaching awards, including regional teacher of the year in 2010, one of eight across the state.

“Three of the teachers of the year from other schools are my own students,” Case told the Times-News at the time. “That, to me, is the fruits of my labor.”

When Bo Caldwell was sworn in as Henderson County schools superintendent in 2016, he singled out Case for her wisdom and teaching by example when as a young math teacher he taught in a classroom next to hers.

“There’s nothing you can possibly learn more from than teaching beside Dot Case,” Caldwell said. His math class at Edneyville High was next door to her class. “What she taught me in six months was more than I learned in six years of higher education,” he said.

If she were to win a seat on the board, Case would join two other longtime county schoolteachers who influenced a generation of young people — Mary Louise Corn, a math teacher and principal, and Rick Wood, a history teacher and coach.

Here are election filings:

  • 11th Congressional District: Phillip Price, D-Marion, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, Republican; Scott Donaldson, D-Hendersonville.
  • 48th Senate District: Chuck Edwards, R-Flat Rock.
  • 113th House District: Cody Henson, R-Rosman; Sam Edney, D-Brevard.
  • 117th House District: Chuck McGrady, R-Hendersonville.
  • District Attorney: Mary Ann J. Hollocker, Republican; Greg Newman, Republican.
  • Henderson County Sheriff: Lowell Griffin, Republican; Charlie McDonald, Republican.
  • Henderson County Register of Deeds: Lee King, Republican.
  • Henderson County Clerk of Court: Kim Gasperson-Justice.
  • Henderson County Board of Commissioners District 1: Michael Edney, Republican.
  • Henderson County Board of Commissioners District 3: William G. Lapsley, Republican.
  • Henderson County Board of Commissioners District 4: Rebecca McCall, Republican; Tim Griffin, Republican.
  • Henderson County School Board (nonpartisan): Jay Egolf, Don Ward, Randy Ward, Dot R. Case.

EARLIER COVERAGE

Henderson County Register of Deeds Lee King claimed the first spot as filing opened at noon Monday for state and local offices.

King, who is seeking a second term as register of deeds, said he's pleased with the achievements he's made in digitizing official records and wants to make more progress.

"It's been a rewarding experience," he said. "We'd like to do more in digital preservation."

He is hoping to add a service called "birth certificates now" that will enable people to immediately get copies of birth certificates.

Meanwhile, former Henderson County Commissioner Don Ward and car dealer Jay Egolf became the first candidates to file for School Board. Both are challengers. Up for re-election are Colby Coren, Lisa Edwards and Amy Lynn Holt.

Ward, who runs a tractor sales business, served on the Board of Commissioners from 1994 to 2002.

"Having a son that coaches at West Henderson and a granddaughter at West Henderson I see firsthand and hear about the needs of our kids and teachers face each day," he said. As a commissioner, he served on a joint facilities committee that worked with School Board members to plan capital construction projects. More recently, he advocated for the building of a new Edneyville Elementary School, which members of the community believed had been neglected.

He said also wants to focus on vocational education programs "to help our kids be ready for the outside world." He pledged to commit the time and energy for meetings, phone calls and school visits that the School Board job requires.

County Commissioner Bill Lapsley filed later Monday afternoon. Also expected to file for re-election is county commission Chair Michael Edney. District 4 Commissioner Tommy Thompson announced last year that he is retiring. Former Henderson County sheriff's Capt. Tim Griffin, who narrowly lost a bid for the seat in 2014, has announced his candidacy for the board. Another candidate in District 4, Rebecca McCall, also filed on Monday.

Also on the ballot this year are legislative seats held by Reps. Chuck McGrady and Cody Henson and Sen. Chuck Edwards, who filed for re-election on Monday. McGrady and Henson have announced plans to run for re-election. Henderson County Sheriff Charlie McDonald faces a challenge from Lowell Griffin, a Polk County sheriff's captain. County Clerk of Superior Court Kim Gasperson-Justice, who is also up for re-election, filed on Monday.