2018 General Election Results - WNC Incumbents Fare Well, 4 Of 6 Amendments Approved

Nov 6, 2018

Incumbents at the federal and state level fared well in Western North Carolina.  Four of the six proposed amendments to the state constitution passed, while Democrats picked up another seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court.  Locally, Democrats held their 4-3 majority on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

All seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the North Carolina General Assembly were on the ballot this year, but the lone incumbent to lose was Republican state representative Mike Clampitt in District 119.  Democrat Joe Sam Queen won the seat back that he lost to Clampitt two years ago by a 52 to 48% margin.  Clampitt's loss paired with other by Republican representatives across the state allowed Democrats to break the Republican supermajority in the House, meaning the GOP will no longer be able to override veteos from Democratic governor Roy Cooper via party line votes come January.

In the only statewide elections, four of the six proposed amendments to the North Carolina were approved.  The closest of those races was the amendment requiring photo identification to vote in North Carolina.  It passed by a 56 to 44% margin.  The two amendments that were defeated handily dealt with appointment powers for judges and members of the state board of elections, handing Governor Cooper another victory over Republicans that control the General Assembly.  Democrat Anita Earls also won a seat on the state supreme court, defeating incumbent Republican Barbara Jackson and Democrat-turned Republican Chris Anglin.  Earls win gives Democrats a 5-2 majority on North Carolina's highest court.  In her victory remarks, Earls said, "By working together over the past year, we have shown that we can stand up for the importance of an independent judiciary, stand up for the principle that no one is above the law, and stand up for the importance of the people’s right to vote.  We can protect our democracy by our hard work, by our commitment to each other, and by letting our voices be heard at the ballot box.  Tonight we celebrate, but in the coming days we must continue to work for equal justice under law.  In the words of Nelson Mandela, “after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” 

Mark Meadows won his fourth term representing the 11th Congressional District, while Patrick McHenry was elected to his 8th term.  Both districts were heavily re-drawn during the last round of redistricting, benefitting Republicans.  Meadows defeated Democrat Phillip Price 59 to 39%.  In a statement, Meadows said, "President Trump's 'America First' leadership and conservative reforms in Congress have unleashed our country's potential over the last two years. Taxes have been cut across the board, resulting in nearly four million jobs created. Unemployment is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years. Record numbers of regulations have been cut or rolled back. We have a new pro-worker trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. Over 80 conservative judges have been confirmed to the courts, including two originalist Supreme Court Justices. And our embassy is finally in Israel's true, undivided capital: Jerusalem. These are just a few examples of the long list of victories we've seen in just 21 months."  McHenry defeated Democrat David Wilson Brown 59 to 41% in District 10.

Amanda Edwards speaks at the Buncombe County Democratic party Tuesday evening at Highland Brewing

In Buncombe County, Democrats were successful in keeping their power.  Quentin Miller was resoundingly elected sheriff, topping Republican Shad Higgins by a 62 to 35% margin.  In the county board of commissioners races, incumbents Al Whitesides (D) and Republican Robert Pressley (R) both won re-election.  Whitesides was unopposed in District 1, while Pressley edged out a narrow victory over Donna Ensley by just 670 votes.  The race that decided the majority was in District 2, where Amanda Edwards won easily 55 to 45% over Glenda Weinert.  That result was quite different than two years ago.  Republican Mike Fryar won District 2's other seat in 2016 by just 317 votes.