Thursday, March 08, 2018

Three Democrats Vying To Run Against Mark Meadows in the NC-11th District

Reading the thoughts of Congressman Mark Meadows this morning on how gun control is not the answer and how schools just need more armed police, I'm seriously looking at the possible antidote for this fool in November. Three Democrats have filed in the 11th Congressional District for the right to take on Meadows, and one of them will come out on top on May 8th.

So ... more or less in the order they got into this race:

Scott Donaldson
Democrat Phillip Price of McDowell County announced last year in July. He has a website and a Facebook page. He's a business entrepreneur and owns a company that salvages lumber from demolitions and tear-downs and repurposes it for new construction projects. Kyle Perrotti did a lengthy profile of Price in The Mountaineer and noted that the candidate pushes two primary memes about himself -- that he's a very dedicated Christian (“People have asked if religion will affect my policies, and I say, 'yes they will,' ”) and that he's willing to compromise ("He differs from hardline progressives in his desire to compromise"). Oy vey! I might be able to gulp hard and take the declaration of religiosity as a sincere effort to find The Light, but I balk at the second. Reminds me too much of the early Barack Obama, who compromised away what could have been an effective health-care fix, whose willingness always to compromise looked like weakness to the Republicans (and some Democrats), who made a sport of running him over and then backing up and running him over again. Interestingly, Price was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016. Sanders was (and still is) neither Christian nor a compromiser. So ... go figure.

Scott Donaldson
Democrat Scott Donaldson is a urological surgeon in Hendersonville. He has a website and a Facebook page. He's been a regular on Hendersonville's WTZQ-FM as a "radio storyteller," "with warm, compassionate and witty accounts of patients he’s treated and people he’s met." He put some of those stories together with photographs into a small book, "Urological Surgery and Lite Haulin: Relections of a Small Town Surgeon." We're talking folksiness, not a bad thing in the 11th District. As a physician he takes a stand on expanding healthcare: "Obamacare was a step in the right direction, but there are still coverage gaps and Republicans in Congress have done everything in their power to try to undermine the law, leaving many Americans vulnerable. I promise to fight for legislation that will expand coverage for all Americans and make sure that no one has to incur mountains of debt or is denied medical coverage because of inability to pay." And he provides a clear contrast to Mark Meadows on another issue: "I own guns, a lot of them. But I know we need common sense solutions to prevent tragedies. We must limit access to guns for people with mental illness, place limits on high capacity magazines, and ban civilian ownership of weapons that were clearly designed for military purposes. Universal background checks and mandatory wait times are also a no-brainer."

Steve Woodsmall
Democrat Steve Woodsmall is an Air Force veteran (he retired at the rank of Major) who is now teaching leadership and management at Brevard College. He has a website and a Facebook page. Becky Johnson profiled him in The Mountaineer. Like a lot of Democratic insurgents running in 2018, Woodsmall said he never aspired to be a politician but couldn't remain silent "given the country's trajectory." “Silence constitutes acceptance. We were always taught in the Air Force if you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem, and we’ve got a big problem right now,” Woodsmall said. He prefers the term "progressive" as a self-descriptor. Woodsmall also has Republican Meadows' stance on gun safety on his mind this morning. From his Facebook page: "The vast majority of Americans support gun safety regulations. But politicians like Mark Meadows, who have received THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars from the NRA, won't even support common sense gun regulation that would save innocent lives because the NRA is against it." Woodsmall has his own book: "It Beats Eatin' Lizards: Lessons Learned in Life and Leadership." He has extensive platform positions on his website, and they are indeed progressive.

There's a lot of talent in the Democratic primary in the 11th Congressional District. If I lived there and could vote for one of these men, I'd be hard pressed at the moment to make a choice. But if I lived there and could vote, I'd enjoy getting to know all of them better and to probe their electability. Anything could happen in a Blue Wave!

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