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NC-11 Dems choose Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in primary election

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara spoke to a crowd of Democrats at Rabbit Rabbit.
Lilly Knoepp
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara spoke to a crowd of Democrats at Rabbit Rabbit.

While the North Carolina Republican race for the 11th congressional district was down to the wire, the Democratic primary was decided early.

A crowd of Democrats gathered at Rabbit Rabbit in Asheville to watch the election results unfold on a projector from picnic tables.

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara received over 60 percent of the vote and addressed the crowd.

“I am so honored to be the Democratic nominee for Congress.”

The crowd cheered.

Beach-Ferrara spoke before the Republican race was called. Incumbent Congressman Madison Cawthorn conceded around 11pm. She said regardless of her opponent, the stakes of this election are high.

“The politics of division, the politics of extremism betray the people and values of Western North Carolina and they are a danger to our democracy,” said Beach-Ferrara.

She said that her campaign would need the support of all Democrats to win in November. Beach-Ferrara raised the largest amount of funding in the field with $1.5 million.

“We find that people are so hungry for an approach to politics that is about the best of who we are and how we move forward as a country, a community and we are so honored. We are so inspired by everything tonight and ready to keep moving forward,” said Beach-Ferrara.

Candidate Bo Hess received about 4 percent of the vote. He says he won’t stop showing up for Western North Carolina.

“I will be out there running again for some office so look out for me out there,” said Hess at the event.

Candidate Katie Dean tweeted her support for Beach-Ferrara as well.

“I am deeply grateful for the thousands of voters who put their trust in me. I'm so proud of our team. This is not an end. It is a beginning. I intend to continue fighting for the working-class people of Western North Carolina with every fiber of my being,” said Dean in a tweet.

Beach-Ferrara welcomed her wife and their three children onto the stage at the end of her speech.

“Together we are ready to make history here and show them what is possible here in Western North Carolina.”

She will face Henderson County Republican state Senator Chuck Edwards in November.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.