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Apodaca will run on record of job gains, local service

State Sen. Tom Apodaca said he plans to run on his 12-year record in the state Senate when he faces challenger Rick Wood this fall.

"We're going to release a list of our accomplishments and what we've brought to the area," Apodaca said in an interview. "We've got a record and we're happy to run on it."
A political novice, Apodaca defeated two better-known candidates to win the 48th Senate District seat in 2002 after that year's redistricting made it Hendersonville-based. He has not faced a close election since.
Apodaca said took pride in the fact that Henderson County's unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, one of the lowest in the state, having dropped from a high of 10.1 percent in February 2010.
"We've been very proud of what we've been able to bring back to Western North Carolina, whether it's Sierra Nevada, DuPont State Forest, the engineering school at Western Carolina, the engineering annex at Biltmore Park, equal funding for UNCA," he said.
In the fall of 2011, Apodaca led the work in the Legislature to make changes in state law that would allow Sierra Nevada to develop a combination brewery, visitor center with retail sales, restaurant and beer camp at Ferncliff Industrial Park on the French Broad River in Mills River.

Leaders in Mills River, Flat Rock and Henderson County say they counted on help from Apodaca, state Rep. Chuck McGrady and former state Rep. Carolyn Justus in successful applications for grants from the state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The two towns and the county have received grants totaling almost $1.5 million since 2010. Mills River won a $499,323 grant for the first phase of Town Park improvements in 2010. Flat Rock received a $475,000 grant and Henderson County a $500,000 grant last fall for parks and recreation.
"One of the things we don't talk about is service," Apodaca said. "We've had over 2,000 constituent calls. We look forward to talking about it. We don't like to brag about it but if we need to we'll talk about it."
Apodaca said he expected to formally announce his re-election campaign at the end of this month.