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Mills River councilman announces state Senate campaign

Brian Caskey Brian Caskey

Mills River Councilman Brian Caskey announced on Monday that he is running for North Carolina’s 48th Senate District, challenging Republican Chuck Edwards.


“I am announcing today my run for the North Carolina State Senate," said Caskey, a Democrat who upset Mills River Mayor Larry Freeman in 2017. "I am tired of economic inequality, and of a government that exists just to take our money. We need a clean environment and a quality education for our children. We also need a pathway to citizenship for those members of our community who work hard and follow the laws. Leadership in Raleigh has let us down, and that’s why I have decided to seek the office of NC Senate.”

Caskey lives in Mills River with his wife, Stacey, and their daughter, Allison, a sophomore at West Henderson High. Their other daughter, Caitlyn, works as a medical assistant and lives in Asheville. Brian and Stacey own Biltmore Tutoring in South Asheville, where they have worked with thousands of Buncombe and Henderson students since 2010. Along with their expert tutors, they have helped many students improve grades, achieve higher SAT and ACT scores, and earn admissions (and scholarships) to prestigious colleges throughout the world.

As a Mills River Councilman, Caskey has worked on environmental restoration on several streams and rivers. He has voted to build multi-use pathways, walking trails and greenways that benefit recreation and promote economic development. He has also worked for road safety by advocating for multi-lane improvements on NC 191 and NC 280, while simultaneously fighting hard to protect the rights of residential property owners and farmers.

Caskey has supported improvements to parks including playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball/softball fields and soccer facilities, and has worked to establish a nuisance ordinance to help protect our community. Right now, Mills River is also leading the way to create a balance between sustainability and rural values by installing solar panels and electric car charging stations at Town Park. Caskey serves on several boards including the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee, the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Carolina Veterans Coalition.

Caskey has worked as a Digital Project Manager in the publishing industry, where he was responsible for developing departmental budgets, multi-million dollar websites, and IT infrastructure projects. He has a great deal of experience with large-scale budgets and with planning multiple projects at once. These are skills that are greatly needed in the North Carolina General Assembly.

A firm believer in bipartisan politics, Caskey says, “We cannot allow ourselves to be represented by people who only do what people in Raleigh tell them to do. That path is littered with poor decisions. Cities and towns across the state are failing as a result of this state’s disastrous history of bad economic, environmental and tax policies. This is why I have decided to run for the North Carolina State Senate.”

Declaring his candidacy 20 months before the election leaves Caskey time to mount a campaign in what has been an uphill battle for Democrats. The 48th Senate District, made up of Henderson, Transylvania and southern Buncombe counties, has been a safe seat for the Republican Party since the Legislature redrew it in the 2012 redistricting. Appointed to the Senate in 2016, Edwards has defended the seat twice against challenges from Democrat Norm Bossert of Pisgah Forest.