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A second Democrat announces candidacy for state Senate

Patsy Keever, a retired schoolteacher, former Buncombe County Commissioner and one-term state House member, announced on Thursday that she is running for the 48th N.C. Senate District, setting up a primary next March for the Democratic nomination.

Democrat Brian Caskey, a Mills River Town Council member, announced last month that he is running for the seat, currently held by Chuck Edwards, a Republican from Hendersonville.

Describing herself as a community leader, teacher, mother and grandmother, Keever said her campaign would focus on strong public education, protecting the environment, creating good jobs and ensuring affordable, high-quality health care for all.

“I believe in the people of our mountains, and I want to represent us in Raleigh," Keever said. "We are hard-working and innovative, strong-willed and resilient. I’ve been working with and for our neighbors for more than forty-five years. We agree that we need to care for our babies, teach our children, engage our adults and support our seniors. It starts with fair elections -- votes counted and lines drawn.”

Keever has served as an elected official in Western North Carolina for 14 years. She was a Buncombe County commissioner from 1992-2004 and served in the state House from 2010-2012. She ran for the 10th Congressional District seat in 2012, winning the Democratic primary with 58 percent of the vote before losing in the general election to incumbent Patrick McHenry.

Keever taught in public schools for 25 years. She has held leadership positions in numerous local organizations, including CarePartners, Buncombe County Library Board of Trustees, Buncombe County Board of Health, United Way, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Asheville/Buncombe League of Women Voters, and the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Task Force. She is the mother of two and grandmother of five.

Her campaign website is www.patsykeeverforsenate.com.