Davis, Queen, Presnell head to Raleigh
Thanks to new legislative districts, Haywood County residents will have three as opposed to four voices in Raleigh next session.
In House District 118, veteran Mars Hill Democratic legislator Ray Rapp fell behind early to Michele Presnell, a business owner and Yancey county commissioner, who ran a vigorous campaign on more jobs, protecting private property rights and enacting voter identification legislation.
Presnell gained a lead in early voting with 51 percent of early votes and finished the night with 51.3 percent of the votes, 18,646 to 17,699.
Rapp trailed in Haywood County by 1,242 votes.
Throughout her campaign, Presnell has promised to bring jobs to the state by cutting regulations, supported voter id laws and private property issues.
Rapp’s hallmark issue of support for public education was at the forefront in his campaign, as was job creation and protecting mountain values.
Both Rapp and Presnell received about $100, 000 in campaign contributions, according to the third-quarter campaign finance reports on file with the N.C. Board of Elections. Most of the funds going to both candidates came from their respective political parties. Rapp garnered about $40,000 in contributions from individuals, while Presnell’s individual contributions were nearly $15,000. Both candidates received funds from various political action committees.
House District 119
In the 119th House District, veteran Democratic Waynesville legislator Joe Sam Queen defeated Bryson City resident Mike Clampitt, a Republican Charlotte retired fire captain.
Queen took an early lead winning 54 percent of the early votes and ended with a win, 16,621 to 15,532.
The seat was an open one with the retirement of Rep. Phil Haire. Queen has served in the state senate, but redistricting placed him in same area as another former Democratic legislator, John Snow, so he opted to seek the house seat. He was defeated by Ralph Hise in Senate District 48 in 2010.
According to the third quarter campaign finance reports, Queen raised about $126,000 in contributions with nearly $27,000 coming from the Democratic party. Clampitt raised about $16,000 with $11,600 coming from the Republican party.
Clampitt advocated fewer government regulations, voter identification legislation, respect for private property rights and education reform. Queen, an architect and small business owner, campaigned on support for public education, fostering small business and working together to meet people’s needs.
Senate District 50
In the newly drawn 50th Senate District, incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Davis of Franklin and his $900,000 war chest turned back a challenge from former Sen. John Snow, who Davis defeated in a squeaker two years ago.
In early voting, Davis garnered 56 percent of votes, and by the night's end, the tally was 50,211 to 37,660, a 57 percent margin.
Though the district lines were redrawn to add more Democrats, the Republican Party protected the seat with an infusion of capital — nearly $700,000 according to third quarter campaign finance reports.
Snow raised just shy of $100,000 with only about $35,500 coming from his party and another $12,500 coming from political action committees.
During the campaign, Davis, an orthodontist and former Macon County commissioner, stressed the need for transforming education, as well as cutting red tape and lowering taxes to increase jobs.
Snow, a retired district court judge, stressed the need for an educated workforce to compete for jobs and a bipartisan approach to government.