Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Meadows gets an opponent, Apodaca reacts to Dan River


U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows announced his candidacy for reelection in the 11th Congressional District, saying he needs to continue fighting for jobs and Christian values and against "excessive government spending."


The Republican-drawn 2012 reapportionment made the 11th District one of the safest Republican seats in a state that's now rich with safe Republican seats. Even so, Meadows did draw an opponent on the first day of filing. Keith Ruehl, a Democrat from Barnardsville, signed up to run. Maybe he's hoping he's the Ruehl that proves the exception.
Here's an excerpt from Meadows' news release:
"The people of Western North Carolina expect a Congress that facilitates job creation and economic growth, reins in excessive government spending and upholds our traditional Christian values. Though some gains have been made during the 113th Congress, much more work remains to be done. I look forward to continuing to represent the conservative principles so important to the people of the 11th District, and my sincere thanks to the thousands of Western North Carolinians who have supported our efforts to make the government accountable to the people once again."

A puzzling pay raise

To what degree Republican leaders in Raleigh attempt to walk back checked boxes that thrilled the reddest segment of their voters won't be known until after the primary — during the legislative session and on to the general election.
Tacking to the middle is already happening on education. Gov. Pat McCrory and the leaders of the House and Senate announced a pay increase for schoolteachers on Monday. Although the pay increase proposal made headlines, it was surprising how politically unstrategic it was. Seemingly confined to starting and new teachers (under five years), the proposal does little for long suffering career teachers — the ones who are most motivated to lick stamps, make calls and walk neighborhoods for a Democratic or even Republican challenger (see Ronnie Edwards, Republican running against Chuck McGrady).
Look for the House and Senate to modify the proposal that the leaders tossed on the table Monday.

Apodaca the environmentalist?

Speaking of walking back toward the middle, we weren't the only ones to cock an eyebrow when state Sen. Tom Apodaca sent out a news release Monday trumpeting his demand for answers on the Dan River coal ash spill. This could indicate the senator's intuition that the spill story is going to get worse before it gets better, nudging onto stage the whole McCrory-GOP push to make regulated industries red-carpet "customers" of state regulators instead of the "victims" of a jobs-killing bureaucracy. Dan River was very bad for that storyline.
All politics being local, Apodaca highlighted the potential threat here. When it's in someone else's district, an environmental boo-boo is regrettable. When it's in yours, it's a catastrophe.
"The Dan River coal ash spill highlights the need for vigilant inspection and monitoring of coal ash ponds on the French Broad River and across North Carolina while a permanent solution to the problem is developed," Apodaca said.
One consumer of the news release was state Rep. Chuck McGrady, who has the most credible environmental record of any Republican legislator in North Carolina, maybe the South. A former National Sierra Club president who has defied his party's leadership on environmental regulation rollback, McGrady tweeted: "Sen. Apodaca! If I'd done this, someone would have called me a RINO. . . LOL."
LOL indeed.
The campaign season officially kicked off on Monday.
Ain't it grand!

Reach Hendersonville Lightning editor Bill Moss at or 828.698.0407.