"Very red Transylvania County." Brevard is the county seat. Voters there haven't elected a Democrat to the county commission since 2006. Trump took 57% of the Transylvania vote in 2020. Madison Cawthorn, 56%. Those were big wins -- but nowhere close to the 70% that Trump took in some other rural NC counties. The star Democratic candidate on the local 2020 Transylvania ballot, the engaging and credible Sam Edney, lost to incumbent whippersnapper Jake Johnson, but Edney took over 44% of the vote. The hurdle to victory, six percentage points. I know it may be a dreamscape, but that's a number I could work with if I had a fired up bunch of Democrats with me.
The Democratic Party of Transylvania County is on fire, the good kind. While some rural county Democratic parties have essentially given up and sunk out of sight into visible despair, Transylvania Democrats are projecting enthusiastic muscle. They've produced a couple of smashing TV ads (one is shown below), and their website is possibly (probably) the best website for any county Democratic Party in the state (and that includes the website I've been desultorily involved with for going on 30 years).
They ran a Democrat for county commish in 2020, David Siniard. He came in 4th, so missed getting a seat, but his vote total was only 2.3% behind the 3rd-place Republican -- some 1,200 votes. That's already substantially cutting the Trump/Cawthorn margin. Can that be whittled all the way down this year? You bet it can.
This year, Transylvania Democrats have a strong, well prepared co commish candidate in Lauren Wise. I have just read a long, in-depth piece of reporting on him and his candidacy on the BrevardNewsBeat (and I'll have more to say about him). He has the marks of someone who could pull off an upset.
Especially if the Party can get out the vote, especially the women. Certainly, the homegrown ad that the Transylvania Party just produced can't hurt that effort (and confirms what some of us have been saying, that the Dobbs decision plays well even in rural counties). (And by the way, what a find Shay Donahue is!). (Another less-than-a-minute Transylvania spot highlighting education can be seen here.)
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