Buncombe County Democrats showed a united front as candidate filing began. The four Asheville-area legislators, Democrats John Ager, Susan Fisher, Brian Turner and Terry Van Duyn filed for re-election together as filing got underway at noon Monday at the Buncombe County elections office. Reps. Ager and Turner are likely to have competitive elections in 2018. Rep. Fisher and Sen. Van Duyn are in districts more favorable to Democrats. Fisher noted the strong presence of women candidates running in Buncombe County and statewide.
“If this is any example, I would say that you’re going to see a number of women across the state filing for office, and I really look forward to a new look for the legislature and other offices across the state.”
While the delegation agreed on most issues, on the issue sure to come before lawmakers this week, a bill that would ease a class-size mandate, there were some differing approaches. That's because Republicans attached separate measures involving the state elections board and a mitigation fund for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that are seen as swipes at Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
Fisher: “The Republicans have politicized, again, something that is a non-partisan need in this state, and that is the full education of our students in North Carolina.”
Fisher said she'd be weighing constituent feedback before deciding whether to support it. Brian Turner had similar reserves.
"It’s a little bit of a poison pill, almost. I don’t love those other provisions in there, but again, my focus has been, what are we going to do to solve the class size chaos, how do we ensure stability for next school year.”
So he's likely to vote for the bill, as is John Ager.
No Republican challengers immediately filed.