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Second Republican files for open District 5 seat

Stephen Mace, a manufacturing consultant, has filed for the District 5 Board of Commissioners seat, ensuring that there will be a Republican primary for the position that Grady Hawkins will leave next year.

Also running for the seat is David Hill, a surveyor from Zirconia.

Mace, 48, moved to Hendersonville with his family in elementary school when his dad was transferred to the Rockwell plant (now Meritor) in Fletcher. He is a graduate of Hendersonville High School and UNC Asheville. An organizational consultant for manufacturing plants, Mace said if elected he would apply the skills that work in his day job to his role on the Board of Commissioners.
“Consulting’s about asking questions,” he said. “The greatest consultants I’ve learned from were great at asking questions.” More input, too, leads to better solutions. “Groups are smarter than individuals,” he said. “It works best that way.”
“It seems that the political system works better when there are more choices,” he said of his motivation for running. “If there’s more choices, people have a better identity with a candidate and a connection with a candidate. And then they’re interested. The system works better when people are interested.”
He said he “got a push” last week from a friend who called to encourage him to file and said he thought he’d do a good job.
“I try to make it as simple as possible,” he said. “I’m running as a Republican. I’m not against anybody. What I’m for is a fiscally sound, vibrant and safe Henderson County. I want to make sure that I understand at much about the issues as I can before I spout off about them. I want be able to connect people.”
Mace said he took notice when the Board of Commissioners seemed to be in conflict with the School Board over construction priorities and with the city of Hendersonville over water.
He would be “collaborative, and collaborative in disagreement,” he said. “There’s going to be disagreement and debate and feelings but there’s a way to work through it.”
He would give the School Board the latitude to run the schools.
“The operational decisions should be made by the School Board and the administration. The county should stay out of that.”
As for road projects, which have caused homeowner uprisings for several years, he said. “I’m for the right roads for the right reasons.”
Mace and his wife, Tippi Robinson Mace, have a 21-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter. They live in the Big Willow area.