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#NC14: Henderson County Sen. Chuck Edwards enters race

Cory Vaillancourt
Chuck Edwards’ entry into the NC-14 race brings the Republican field to six. ";

Henderson County Republican state senator Chuck Edwards’ entry into North Carolina’s 14th Congressional district race is the latest turn in the soap opera that is Western North Carolina’s politics.

Right now, Edwards is a powerful 3-term incumbent state senator.  But if everything goes the way this Western North Carolina native has planned it, everyone will soon call him Congressman Edwards.

“I played high school football just a few miles in this direction,” Edwards said. “Well, honestly, I sat on the bench while other folks played. I wasn’t that great of an athlete. Today, I am announcing to you my candidacy for congressional seat 14 representing the counties here in Western North Carolina.”

Edwards’ potential candidacy had been the subject of intense speculation for more than a year.

“I will not sit on the bench in Washington D.C.,” he said.

Last January, Edwards called out Congressman Madison Cawthorn for his conduct leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection, and was rumored to be mulling a primary run against his fellow Republican.

But when new maps for next year were drawn, Cawthorn shocked the GOP establishment by declaring he’d run in the new 13th Congressional District. That leaves Cawthorn’s old district, which encompasses the westernmost part of North Carolina, wide open.

“I’m gonna be working like we’re two touchdowns behind until the polls close on March 8”

Lawsuits have been filed alleging the new maps are unconstitutional gerrymanders.  If the maps survive the challenge, North Carolina’s 14th Congressional District is about 54% Republican, based on votes for former President Donald Trump in 2020. It’s considered a safe Republican seat by most.

Edwards joins a field that for now includes six Republicans, including former district chair Michele Woodhouse and retired Army Col. Rod Honeycutt, and six Democrats, including Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Hendersonville educator Eric Gash.

Candidate filing for the 2022 elections begins Dec. 6, and ends Dec. 17.