District 8 = Pitt County, which means the city of Greenville and the campus of East Carolina State University. The General Assembly was forced to redraw the district which had contained parts of both Pitt and Wilson counties but which cut out the urban core of those two counties.
Open seat. Republican incumbent Susan Martin announced last November that she was giving up the seat, and so far no Republican has stepped forward to take up the challenge.
Democrat Kandie Smith is an 8-year veteran Greenville city councilwoman, first elected in 2007. Last July, Smith — who was also serving as the city’s mayor pro tem — became the first black female mayor of Greenville after the city council voted unanimously to appoint her to fill the mayor’s seat left vacant by Allen Thomas. Smith also is the North Carolina assistant regional representative for the National Black Caucus of Elected Officials, a board member of the Pitt County Re-entry Council, and was the former president of the Greenville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She said, “During my time as mayor I had the opportunity to see things differently and had a lot more contact with our representatives in Raleigh. It made me realize how much more I can do in the General Assembly. I have always fought for the citizens of Greenville. I want to continue that fight for all of eastern North Carolina.” One of her top priorities will be the economic development of the region. “Eastern North Carolina gets overlooked a lot,” she said. “We are often an afterthought … but we have so much to offer, and I want to go to Raleigh and make sure people know that.” She ran in the Democratic primary in NC House District 24 in 2016 and lost to the incumbent, Jean Farmer-Butterfield.
Sam Edney, running for the NC House District 113
District 113 is a mountain district, taking in Brevard, Hendersonville, and Saluda.
Incumbent Republican: Cody Henson is in his first term in the NC House. He's a baby -- 26 years old -- and probably the youngest member of the House. He is married and the father of a young son. He currently works at OceanX, an Arden-based company that helps businesses create subscription programs. He thought HB2 was perfectly fine, and he told the Carolina Public Press: "I am a Christian conservative." We believe him.
Democrat Sam Edney has been actively campaigning for this seat since last summer. After graduating from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in 1970, Edney worked as an industrial engineer for 18 years, the last 12 with Ecusta Paper in Brevard. In 1988, he purchased Pisgah Pest Control, a company that today has three branches and 24 employees. He served on the Transylvania County Board of Education. Currently, he is Vice Chair of the SAFE Board of Directors. Economic development in the mountains is a key issue for him: “It’s time to respond to the 15-25 percent decline in well-paying jobs in the three counties I will serve. The way to do that is to invest in public education and economic development. I believe everyone in our community should have a chance to succeed.”