Senate District 50 encompasses seven counties in far southwestern North Carolina -- Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain -- which includes the campus of Western Carolina University. Since 2010, it's considered unwinnable for a Democrat.
Republican incumbent: Jim Davis, former Macon County commissioner, a dentist, defeated long-serving Democrat John Snow in the Tea Party election of 2010, and Davis has continued to live up to his Tea Party heritage in the senate. He's an orthodontist by profession.
|Bobby Kuppers, filing for county|
commissioner in 2015
Democrat Bobby Kuppers spent 25 years as a career Navy man, primarily in the submarine service, and retired as a captain. He now teaches civics and US history at Franklin High School in Macon County. He's also served as an elected Macon County commissioner. His term in office actually overlapped with Jim Davis's, so the two actually know one another well. I'm indebted to Becky Johnson in The Mountaineer for an in-depth profile of Democrat Kuppers. He sounds like a fighter who can withstand a depth-charge. “I wouldn’t be here [running for this Senate seat] if I thought it was hopeless. I am not running as a token resistance,” said Kuppers, who has also been a long-time assistant football coach at Franklin High. “I have never stepped onto the sideline of a football game thinking I was going to lose. I never sold my team short .... As a civics’ teacher, you spend a lot of time teaching your students how it is supposed to be. And it bothers you when it is not happening in Raleigh or Washington the way it should be happening,” Kuppers said. “I think we need to get to the type of governing our framers envisioned and do what’s right for everybody.” Incumbent Davis likes to brag about the tax cuts made in Raleigh, but Kuppers complains that those cuts benefit the wealthy and not the middle class. He is also critical of how the General Assembly under Republican control has continued to squeeze public education to death. “The once-proud North Carolina education system has been eroded,” Kuppers said.