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FOUR SEASONS POLITICS: Johnson fundraiser, Elections Board chair, guns for teachers

Jake Johnson and Liz Driver at a fundraiser at Champion Hills. Jake Johnson and Liz Driver at a fundraiser at Champion Hills.

Johnson kicks off fundraising for state House

More than 100 supporters and elected officials from Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties turned out last week for Jake Johnson’s kickoff fundraiser for the state House District 113 seat. Johnson, chair of the Polk County Board of Commissioners, is running for the Republican nomination for the seat, which incumbent Cody Henson plans to vacate. Speakers at the event, at Champion Hills Country Club, were District Attorney Greg Newman and Mark Robinson, a conservative activist who appears on Fox News and is a member of the National Outreach Board for the NRA. Johnson posed with his girlfriend, Liz Driver.

Local gun shop hosts
 Train a Teacher Day

In response to recent mass shootings in the U.S., shooting instructors and coaches all over the United States have come together to offer training services free of charge to teachers, school administrators and other school employees in the second annual National Train a Teacher Day on July 20.
The purpose is to empower those who are entrusted with the care and education of our children and to give them the insight, knowledge, and skills to perhaps act instead of react, so they can save lives. Locally, a session will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at Fruitful Seasons Pistol Packing, 1927 Spartanburg Highway. To sign up, visit or come by the store. The deadline for registration is July 3. For more information visit

Elections board chair
 must take leave

In limbo for months while Democrats and Republicans fought over state elections laws, the Henderson County Board of Elections was reconstituted and seated. Now it’s about to get a temporary change in leadership.
Robert Livingston, who was appointed chair by Gov. Roy Cooper, will have to resign from the board when his son-in-law files for re-election as mayor of Laurel Park next month. The mayor, Carey O’Cain, is married to Livingston’s daughter, Lutrelle.
State law spells out family relationships that require a county elections board to step aside for conflict-of-interest reasons, Elections Director Beverly Cunningham told the board last week. Son-in-law and daughter-in-law are among them.
Cunningham also told the board that city of Hendersonville would hold a primary election in October if five or more candidates file for the two open City Council seats. So far, incumbent Steve Caraker and challengers Jennifer Hensley and Lyndsey Simpson have announced that they plan to run while mayor pro tem Ron Stephens said he will not. The filing period is July 5-19.
After Cooper finally prevailed in the court battle over control of the state and county elections boards, county boards grew from three to five members, with Democratic majorities. Current board members are Democrats Livingston, Christian Stolz, Mario Polon and Republicans Debbie Dante and Linda Rebuck. The county Democratic Party will recommend a candidate to replace Livingston. The governor appoints the board chair.

GOP, Humane Society 
host pet adoption event

The Henderson County Republican Party and the Blue Ridge Humane Society are teaming up for a Pet Adoption Event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at GOP headquarters, 170 Four Seasons Shopping Center. Even if you aren’t looking for a new pet at this time, the adoption event is a great way to come out and support the Blue Ridge Humane Society. Haus Heidelberg German restaurant will have its food truck on site.