2022 Asheville Voter Guide

Asheville voters: make your voice heard in this year’s election for Mayor & City Council!

About the 2022 Asheville Election

This year’s primary election for Asheville Mayor & City Council will coincide with the statewide primary election on Tuesday, May 17. Polls will be open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Find your Election Day polling place.

Questions about Asheville’s election? Contact the Buncombe County Board of Elections at (828) 250-4200.

WHAT DOES THE CITY COUNCIL DO?

The Mayor and the other members of the Asheville City Council make a wide range of decisions affecting your life. The City Council sets policies and priorities and oversees the many functions of local government, including:

• The Police & Fire Departments
• Economic & Community Development
• Anti-Discrimination Ordinances
• Tax Rates & the City Budget
• Streets, Sidewalks & Road Repair
• Historic Preservation

• Zoning & Building Code Enforcement
• Affordable Housing
• Recreation, Parks & Arts Programs
• Water & Waste Disposal
• City Govt. Employee Wages & Benefits
• Appointments to Boards & Committees

Candidates for Asheville Mayor (vote for one candidate)

Cliff Feingold

Occupation: Dentist

Background: I was raised and educated in Asheville since the age of three. My background growing up was in the business world, and I ran my dental practice for 45 years. I will pledge to be in the Mayor’s office up to seven days a week. I have old time mountain values.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
A transparent city government has been lacking the past eight or more years. Restoring, respecting, and supporting our law enforcement heroes will make Asheville safe again.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: A considerable factor in Asheville being the second most expensive place to live in NC is the fees that Asheville charges developers. Fees and taxes need to be examined and unnecessary drains on the City budget must be eliminated.

Website: Cliff.YourTeamAsheville.com

Michael L. Hayes

Occupation: Executive Director of Umoja Health, Wellness and Justice Collective

Background: Currently serving on the African-American Heritage Commission. Served on the Citizens-Police Advisory Committee. I am a longtime resident of Asheville that has been negatively impacted by the divisive politics that has plagued Asheville for the past 20 plus years.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Government/Police Transparency and Accountability. Transformative Affordable Housing. Healing our City.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Jobs for youth: Create summer job programs that give our youth an opportunity to earn money while learning a trade or developing a skill set that can be beneficial for their future. The money can come from the many sources of income that the City of Asheville has access to.

Website: Hayes4Mayor.com

Esther Manheimer

Occupation: Mayor of Asheville; partner (attorney) at the Van Winkle Law Firm

Background: Elected Mayor in 2013 & 2017. Led COVID rental assistance, redeveloping our oldest public housing, saving our water from state takeover, minority inclusion policy, police raises, reparations, improved city services, limited tax & fee increases. See more: bit.ly/estherem Asheville High and UNC grad.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Expand public safety and rebuild APD to enable residents to feel and be safer. Redouble affordable housing efforts to increase availability to reduce houselessness and increase quality of life and stability for all residents. Climate policy and action to reduce climate change & increase resilience.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: Redoubling our efforts requires creativity and an all-in approach: partnerships with neighborhoods, builders, funders, employers, and organizations who are willing to be part of the solution on housing affordability and availability for everyone from our lowest-income to our median-wage residents.

Website: VoteManheimer.com

Kim Roney

Occupation: Small Business Owner and Music Educator

Background: Council: Governance, Public Safety, and Boards & Commissions. Liaison: French Broad MPO, Neighborhood Advisory and Human Relations Commission. Community: Asheville Music School, board; Just Economics, Policy Advocacy Committee; Friends of Community Radio, Station Manager (2012-15); ART-C Coalition.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
In my 2nd year on Council after 7 years in the chambers, I’m running for Mayor because the work to ensure a resilient community includes urgent action to take better care of each other and the planet, which means addressing: Affordability, Public Safety, and An Improved Public Meeting Process.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: With the drastically rising cost of living in Asheville, affordability includes developing deeply-affordable housing through cooperative and creative solutions along transit corridors, keeping neighbors from becoming unhoused, securing our food systems, and leading by example on living wages.

Website: KimRoney4Asheville.com

Jonathan Wainscott

No response from candidate

Candidates for Asheville City Council (vote for three candidates)

Maggie Ullman Berthiaume

Occupation: Climate Advocate

Background: I work with nonprofits to help them row in the same direction on climate change. I was Asheville’s first Sustainability Director during which time I saved $1m a year in energy costs and increased recycling 35%. I have the skills and experience to take ideas and put them into action.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Affordable housing, climate change, and quality core city services. I’ll work to keep the vibrant heart beat of Asheville alive by addressing the housing crisis and the changing climate, all while providing safe parks, sidewalks and greenways with clean water and timely garbage collection.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: I will bring people together to honor that Asheville has all kinds of people, and all kinds of people need all kinds of housing, which we can provide by strategically supporting infill development near jobs and on transit corridors to strengthen and diversify our neighborhoods.

Website: Maggie4AVL.com

Doug Brown

Occupation: Retired

Background: Sales rep in the Far and Middle East for a Fortune 500 company; business owner; volunteer work with teens: Big Brother, National Leadership Council, Asheville Journeymen. Self-published two books; producer and host of a business podcast; Sunday school teacher; married 23 years, raised two children.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
1) Restore the police department staff and morale: safe, clean downtown is essential for businesses to thrive and to attract residents and visitors. 2) Correct the city’s housing first model that creates dependency on life-long subsidized housing to shelter first, treatment first, housing earned.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: Attracting software and engineering types of businesses to Asheville will bring in higher paying jobs that can afford housing; this creates a tax base for creating affordable working housing for the service jobs. Explore with businesses to develop close-by, vacant buildings into affordable housing.

Website: www.YourTeamAsheville.com, facebook.com/dougbrown4avl

Alex Cobb

No response from candidate

Andrew Fletcher

Occupation: Jazz Pianist, Tour Guide, Freelance

Background: Vice Chair, Asheville Downtown Commission. Vice Chair, Asheville Public Art & Cultural Commission. Board Member serving with non-profits Asheville Music Professionals and The Nina Simone Project. Senior in Economics at UNC-Asheville. Former Chair/Spokesperson of the Haywood/Page Advisory Task Force.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Affordable Housing, Integrity in Government, Economic Opportunity for Workers

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: As a renter, I know current policy doesn’t come close to matching the size of the housing crisis, and some taxpayer money is turned into developer profit. We should instead leverage public funds, credit and land to build permanently affordable housing that will ultimately be worker owned.

Website: facebook.com/FletcherForAVLCouncil

Will Hornaday

Occupation: Designer

Background: Vice Chair Historic Resources Commission, quasi judicial City/County commission. President of Albemarle Park Manor Grounds Association (my neighborhood association/preservation 501c3). Past President and founding member Charlotte Street Business Association, advocated for the CLT St. road diet.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
1. Responsible Growth, incremental, infill, and focused on affordable housing. 2. Environment, we need to get serious about climate change from our carbon use to our tree canopy. 3. Accountability, I want to earn your trust and work to build your trust in our government.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: Encourage adaptive reuse of existing underutilized buildings to quickly – and with less environmental impact – increase the amount of housing. Look to allow denser development of lots to allow small scale developers to create gentle density within existing communities.

Website: HonorAsheville.com

Andy Ledford

Occupation: Engineer

Background: I’m an Asheville native and US Navy Veteran. I’m an engineer by trade, and my job is looking for solutions to problems.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Traffic, infrastructure to support growth, city staffing

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Police accountability and community relations: I believe the loss of trained personnel all over the city has had a snowball effect that has only gotten worse. Not enough police to enforce laws, not enough public works to keep trash picked up, releasing people who have been arrested because the jail is understaffed.

Website: facebook.com/andyledford4avl

Grant Millin

Occupation: Strategy Innovator and Management Consulting for Public Good business owner

Background: My background includes helping to end the political career of former US Rep. Charles Taylor and a wide range of civic activity for good government and ethics.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
I am running for council because I ask tough, relevant questions like: Where does City of Asheville stand in comparison to the Top 25 high performance municipalities across the nation and free world? I look forward to engaging on our challenges, solutions, and outcomes; including housing, APD, etc.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Jobs for youth: Part of the COA Restructure and Center of Progress platform connected to my candidacy includes phased decommissioning of the Buncombe Tourism Development Authority over five years. Along with what goes in its place is a Community Economic Development 3.0 platform. Youth prosperity is included.

Website: GrantMillin.com

Antanette Mosley

Occupation: Attorney

Background: I am an incumbent City Council member, serving on the Housing and Community Development Committee. I’ve worked at a local affordable housing non-profit and am a practicing attorney.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
A top priority is the provision of affordable housing in our community. Over the past year, rental rates have increased by 25% in our area. My work on the affordable housing committee culminates in the development of affordable housing as well as increased housing supply.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: I work to incentivize the development of affordable housing as well as the utilization of housing voucher holders. Recognizing that market forces determine rental and housing costs, increasing overall housing supply must always be taken into consideration.

Website: MosleyForAvl.com

Allison Scott

Occupation: Director Impact & Innovation Campaign for Southern Equality

Background: My career has included working in IT and project management at Care Partners, Rockwell, Baldor Electric, and ABB. 3 years ago I made the jump from the business world to non-profit work. During that time I have served as the Director of Impact & Innovation at the Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE).

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Equitable Affordable Housing, Community Safety, Transparent Local Government

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: Increase availability of housing with multi-family zoning and non-traditional structures such as tiny homes. Advocating for BIPOC led housing initiatives from the Asheville Reparations Fund. Elevating voices of residents in partnership with local organizational expertise.

Website: AllisonForAsheville.com

Sheneika E. Smith

Occupation: Vice Mayor, Asheville City Council

Background: Elected to Asheville City Council in 2018, appointed Vice Mayor in 2020. Currently, Chair of Public Safety Committee and Boards and Commissions. Professional experience includes community organizing and event planning, workforce development outreach and recruitment and mental health work.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Restorative Justice (Community and Legal System) – reform the justice system with an holistic response to crime and victimization; decreasing recidivism and jail population. County/City Transit Consolidation – conduct a study and operational analysis to evaluate the best consolidation planning.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Affordable housing: Purpose Built Development – creating upward mobility through mixed-income housing options for distressed communities without creating displacement; meeting families where they are economically. A tool that integrates equity into policy; creating a true sense of community and belonging.

Nina Tovish

Occupation: Writer, artist, real estate broker

Background: Good decisions requires good information, both hard data and lived experience; I ask good questions and I’m a strategic thinker. Communication is essential to effective leadership — and a hallmark of my professional life: listening deeply, negotiating effectively, creating meaningful connections.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Economic diversification beyond tourism: planning & zoning prioritizing the needs & goals of residents & local businesses. Deeply affordable housing so people can live in the City, near their work. Carbon footprint reduction for the City & residents, for a sustainable, climate-resilient future.

Please choose any ONE issue below and answer how you would address that issue (affordable housing, police accountability, or jobs for youth):
Police accountability and community relations: We can enhance public safety through collaborative initiatives between the APD and local community organizations & social services providers. APD must recruit officers who prioritize communication and non-violence, feel part of the community they protect & serve, and respect the civil rights of all.

Website: tovish4avl.com, facebook.com/TOVISH4AVL

There are a variety of other contests in the May 17 Buncombe County primary. Voters registered with a specific party will vote on their party’s primary ballot. Unaffiliated voters may ask for the Democratic or Republican ballot for May’s primary; it won’t change their unaffiliated status.

(Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on their respective party’s ballot.)

U.S. Senate

Democratic primary candidates for U.S. Senate

James L. Carr, Jr. – website
Robert Colon – website
Alyssia Rose-Katherine Hammond – website
Constance (Lov) Johnson – website
Tobias LaGrone – website
B. K. Maginnis – website
Rett Newton – website
Marcus W. Williams – website
Greg Antoine – website
Cheri Beasley – website
Chrelle Booker – website

Republican primary candidates for U.S. Senate

Marjorie K. Eastman – website
David Flaherty
Benjamin E. Griffiths – website
Kenneth Harper, Jr. – website
Pat McCrory – website
Charles Kenneth Moss
Lichia Sibhatu – website
Debora Tshiovo – website
Mark Walker – website
Jen Banwart – website
Ms. Lee A. Brian
Leonard L. Bryant – website
Ted Budd – website
Drew Bulecza – website

U.S. House of Representatives

Democratic primary candidates for U.S. House of Representatives – District 11:

Jay Carey – website
Katie Dean – website
Marco Gutierrez – website
Bo Hess – website
Bynum M. Lunsford – website
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara – website

Republican primary candidates for U.S. House of Representatives – District 11:

Madison Cawthorn – website
Chuck Edwards – website
Rod Honeycutt – website
Wendy Marie-Limbaugh Nevarez – website
Bruce O’Connell – website
Kristie Sluder – website
Michele V. Woodhouse – website
Matthew Burril – website

NC Supreme Court

Democratic primary candidates for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice – Seat 5

there is no Democratic primary for this seat

Republican primary candidates for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice – Seat 5

Victoria E. Prince – profile info
April C. Wood – profile info
Trey Allen – profile info

NC Court of Appeals

Democratic primary candidates for NC Court of Appeals Judge – Seat 9

there is no Democratic primary for this seat

Republican primary candidates for NC Court of Appeals Judge – Seat 9

Beth Freshwater Smith – profile info
Donna Stroud – profile info

Democratic primary candidates for NC Court of Appeals Judge – Seat 11

there is no Democratic primary for this seat

Republican primary candidates for NC Court of Appeals Judge – Seat 11

Michael J. Stading – profile info
Charlton L. Allen – profile info

NC Senate

Democratic primary candidates for NC Senate – District 46

there is no Democratic primary for this seat

Republican primary candidates for NC Senate – District 46

Mark Crawford
Warren Daniel

Democratic primary candidates for NC Senate – District 49

Sandra Kilgore – website
Julie Mayfield – website
Taylon Breeden – website

Republican primary candidates for NC Senate – District 49

there is no Republican primary for this seat

NC House of Representatives

Democratic primary candidates for NC House of Representatives – District 115

there is no Democratic primary for this seat

Republican primary candidates for NC House of Representatives – District 115

Sherry M. Higgins
Pratik Bhakta

District Attorney

Democratic primary candidates for District Attorney

Doug Edwards – website
Todd Williams – website
Courtney Booth – website
Joe Bowman – website

Republican primary candidates for District Attorney

there is no Republican primary for this seat

Buncombe County Commissioner

Democratic primary candidates for County Commissioner (District 1)

Al Whitesides – website
Bill Branyon – website

Republican primary candidates for County Commissioner (District 1)

there is no Republican primary for this seat

Buncombe County Sheriff

Democratic candidates for Buncombe County Sheriff (vote for one candidate)

David Hurley

Party: Democratic

Occupation: Internet Marketing & Consulting

Background: I have a diverse background made up of military, police, high-risk security and business. I’ve managed security teams in high-risk environment and employees in Asheville and abroad. My wide range of dynamic experiences and skills make me a perfect candidate.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
I will integrate the Sheriff’s Office into the community using the very effective Community Oriented Policing approach. I’ll seek to have the agency CALEA certified, review/rewrite policies, and develop better hiring and qualification standards.

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
I’ll develop a Community Partnership Committee to help develop policies we operate under & seek to have the agency CALEA certified. I’ll explore the possibility of having mental health professionals assist on certain calls and promote multi-government and agency collaboration to tackle homelessness.

Website: HurleyForSheriff.com

Quentin Miller

Party: Democratic

Occupation: Sheriff of Buncombe County

Background: Quentin Miller was born and raised in Asheville. While in the U.S. Army and stationed in Germany, Quentin met Army Specialist Karen Sconiers. They have been married for 35 years and now have 11 grandkids. In 2018 Quentin was elected as the first African-American Sheriff of Buncombe County.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
The opioids crisis is impacting Buncombe County especially hard, with a very high per capita rate of overdose deaths. Since being elected as Sheriff I have implemented a (MAT) drug treatment program at our county jail to help people enter into long-term recovery and reduce recidivism.

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
In 2021, Governor Cooper signed into law a process that streamlined the release of law enforcement video. I supported this reform. We now have a judge who makes the determination of release. We have mental health clinicians on our payroll and embedded at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

Website: QuentinForBuncombe.org, facebook.com/qm4sheriff

Republican candidates for Buncombe County Sheriff (vote for one candidate)

Adrian (AJ) Fox

Party: Republican

Occupation: (retired) NC State Trooper

Background: 40 years in law enforcement: 14 years NC Highway Patrol (retired), 19 years Buncombe County Sheriff Department, 7 years Haywood County Sheriff Department, 2 years, Lake Lure Police Department

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Regain law and order so that residents feel safe and cared for; protect our citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights; train our officers to be constitutional deputies.

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
I want to have personnel dedicated to community outreach, to strengthen the relationship between our community and law enforcement, including a wellness program to check on our elderly citizens weekly or even daily if merited.

Website: AJFoxForSheriff.com

Ben Jaramillo

Party: Republican

Occupation: Retired Deputy Sheriff

Background: I retired with 19 years at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and over 18 years in the NC Army National Guard in the Infantry and a Military Police Officer.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Hiring qualified and professional personnel for all divisions of the Sheriff’s Office. Training officers to better recognize mental health situations in the community. Training School Resource Officers to better respond to bullying and mental health situations

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
Want to be as transparent as possible but the courts and criminal charges determine the release of such evidence. I want our Governor to find more mental health programs.

Website: Jaramillo4Sheriff.com

Jeff Worley

Party: Republican

Occupation: School Director at Asheville-Buncombe Technical College over the Speed Measurement program and assist in their BLET driving program.

Background: I began my career in 1984 as a police officer with both Weaverville and Asheville police depts. In 1999 the NCHP from which I am most recently retired following 30 years of honorable service. I’ve served in a variety of front line supervisory and command level leadership roles over the past 38 years.

Please describe your top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
To establish a new commitment of culture of trust, accountability and a truer sense of community and quality of life. I will develop a Neighborhood Impact Team (from existing resources) to engage consistently with residents to conduct effective community problem solving.

As Sheriff, what steps would you take to enhance community accountability, such as prompt release of law enforcement videos and funding for mental health personnel?
I will always look for ways to openly and fairly communicate to you the successes, failures, challenges and concerns associated with the Sheriff’s Office. An effective relationship together, in my opinion, provides the greatest vehicle for this accountability.

Website: WorleyForBuncombe.com

Asheville City Schools Board of Education (this is a nonpartisan contest)

Pepi Acebo – website
Liza English-Kelly – website
Miri Massachi
Amy Ray – website
Sara Shea
Rebecca Strimer – website
Sarah Thornburg – website
Jesse J. Warren
William (Bill) Young, Jr.

Voting Tools

Questions about Asheville’s election?

Contact the Buncombe County Board of Elections at (828) 250-4200