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Gash files for Congress

After talking to North Carolinians across the 11th Congressional District, school principal, pastor, coach and community leader Eric Gash has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for Congress to unseat U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn and deliver real results for families in Western North Carolina.

Saying that Cawthorn, the 25-year-old freshman Republican, "isn't showing up for Western North Carolina ... and as of late "can't even be bothered to show up for work," Gash touted deep ties to the region and his faith in making the announcement.

In a news release, Gash calls himself an educator, pastor, coach and community leader but does not mention that he is a Democrat. He joins a large field of Democrats who have already announced plans to run for the seat or formed a campaign committee. Unless the Legislature changes the 2022 calendar, filing for state and federal offices would be in December followed by primary elections in March.

“Today, I am making it official,” Gash said. “Western North Carolina isn’t just an area on a map for me — it is my home. I was born and raised in Hendersonville, attended public schools here, and later returned with my own family. I know I am the right candidate to represent our community. Our community deserves honest leadership in Washington that focuses on kitchen table issues like better schools, better infrastructure and more economic opportunities. In what is one of the most challenging moments in American history, our current representative is more interested in becoming a political celebrity than delivering for families in need. I’m running for Congress to actually serve our community and bring North Carolina values to Washington.”

A graduate of Hendersonville High School, Gash is currently principal of his alma mater, Bruce Drysdale Elementary. He serves as the pastor of Speak Life Community Church, as a volunteer chaplain with the Hendersonville Police Department and sits on the Board of Directors of the Henderson County Community Foundation.

“My faith instilled in me the values of servant leadership,” he said. “During the height of the pandemic, I led our students and teachers through a shutdown. It wasn’t easy, but we worked hard and we showed up for one another. With that resilience, I know that Western North Carolina will come back from this pandemic stronger than ever.

"Unfortunately, Madison Cawthorn abandoned us when times got hard. He voted against critical funding to help our small businesses reopen and to keep food on the table for working families. He voted against the bipartisan January 6th commission to investigate the deadly riot that led to the deaths of law enforcement officers. Madison Cawthorn isn’t showing up for Western North Carolina, and as of late, he can’t even be bothered to show up for work. Instead, he’s in it for himself. I’ve spent my life building bridges and getting things done for this community and that’s the fight I will take to Washington.”