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Sam Edney again takes on youngest state rep

State Rep. Jake Johnson and Sam Edney are running for the state House District 113 seat. State Rep. Jake Johnson and Sam Edney are running for the state House District 113 seat.

Democrat Sam Edney of Pisgah Forest is trying for a second time to win the state House District 113 seat, and again against the youngest member of the Legislature. It’s just not the same incumbent.


Jake Johnson, the 25-year-old representative from Saluda, was appointed to the seat vacated by Cody Henson, who is only a couple of years older.

“I am running because I’ve got grandchildren and five daughters and stepsons,” Edney said. “Unless we turn North Carolina around and get the focus on public schools and deal with this environmental crisis we’ve got, they’re not going to have the same kind of life I’ve enjoyed. Public education got me out of the poverty I grew up in. … We are bleeding teachers in North Carolina and it’s a direct result of policies that came out of Republican Legislature.”
“My opponent is another guy just like the last guy, a young man, may be a fine fellow” but lacks experience, Edney said. “When I was his age, I wouldn’t have been very good at this either. I’ve raised a family, buried my sister, worked in business for years, served on boards, served on the School Board and that’s experience that counts for something. And the goal is to build on our future and our future is our kids and our environment. That’s why I’m running.”

Last spring, as soon as Henson announced he would not seek re-election, Johnson launched his campaign to succeed him. Weeks later, when Henson resigned, party leaders appointed Johnson to replace him.
“We feel good, we feel like this is a conservative district and we represent the district well with what we stand for,” Johnson said. “We don’t take anything lightly. We’re going to get out and campaign all year. We’ve had a pretty good jump getting out and getting to know people. We feel like we’ve had a chance to talk to a lot of voters.”
As for his youth, “I feel like I’ve had great success as a county commissioner for three years,” he said. “I feel like during my time as a commissioner for three years we gained a lot of useful experience and had a chance to reach out to people. I know what I don’t know. I think I’ve proved that I can be an effective lawmaker and I think during my time in Raleigh I’ve had a lot of succcess getting things done and over the finish line. We’re not going to be somebody who goes to Raleigh and just punches the button and is along for the ride.”