Henderson County – Henderson County voters will decide on state representatives and a county commissioner in the Republican primary May 17.
Longtime county commissioner Mike Edney is challenged by Amy Lynn Holt.
Voters will choose for either of two state house seats, among various races. State House District 117 stretches across northern Henderson County, from Hendersonville upward.
Its seat is vacant for the second election in a row. Chuck McGrady retired after five terms. West Henderson alum Tim Moffitt succeeded McGrady in 2020. Now Moffitt faces Democrat Stephanie Justice in November, for the Senate District 48 seat that Chuck Edwards is vacating to run for Congress.
Trio of Contenders
Its primary GOP candidates are Jennifer Capps Balkcom, Chelsea Walsh, and Dennis Justice. The winner faces unopposed Democrat Michael O’Shea.
Walsh, the first of the three Republicans to file, lost in the Hendersonville City Council primary last fall. She touts herself as pro-business, pro-life and pro-law enforcement. The East Henderson alum said she has the “heart” and “energy” to commute to Raleigh and serve.
She questions Gov. Roy Cooper maintaining a “state of emergency” health-wise for nearly 800 days, despite — in her words —the “disappearance of numerous COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.”
Walsh quipped on Facebook last week: “Someone said I want to win so badly, that I’d run over my own grandmother. Funny, the day this person said that my 90-year-old (granny) fell and broke her knee. I assure you I did not run her over, but send well wishes and prayers to my ‘Mema.’ She’s a tough cookie.”
Check chelseawalsh4NC.org, for more info.
Balkcom, 43, is another East Eagle alumnus. She is branch manager of ALCOVA Mortgage and a mortgage lender. She is on the Henderson County Planning Board.
The lifelong, seventh-generation county resident studied banking and finance and has an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Business Administration, from Blue Ridge Community College. She wants to put her banking experience to work on the House Finance Committee, dealing with taxation, fees and other revenue sources and avoiding debt.
Balkcom, among others, opposes expanding Medicaid for fear that benefits will be diluted when adding many that truly do not need it. She stated in a NC Grassroots Government candidate survey that she believes life begins at conception. Her supporters describe Balkcom as a doer with a strong work ethic and character. She lives in Naples.
Check votebalkcom.com for more info.
Justice, of Fletcher, ran for four types of state or local offices throughout several decades. The Uber driver lost to Moffitt in ‘20.
Abortion is an emerging issue. The U.S. Supreme Court may toss the issue to each state, hinging on its final decision concerning Roe vs. Wade. Justice, like Balkcom, also believes life starts at conception. He said taxpayer-funded abortion should be allowed only if needed to save the mother’s life. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
Check Dennis Justice for North Carolina House 117 on Facebook, for more info.
Saluda State Rep. Jake Johnson is up for re-election, in District 113 that includes Flat Rock and his Polk County. Conservative Johnson was appointed in mid-2019, and reelected in ‘20. He is pro-life, and for higher teacher pay and greater “parental choice” within the education’s curriculum. Check JakeforNC.com for more info.
Also running is State Rep. David Rogers from D112 that has Rutherford County, which D113 is poised to acquire next year if statewide redistricting holds up. Rogers, 56, is about twice Johnson’s age. He is on the House Redistricting Committee.
Fifth-term commissioner J. Michael “Mike” Edney is challenged in District One by Amy Lynn Holt, who recently served on the school board. No Democrat is running. Voting is county-wide.
Edney served as a commissioner in 1988-96 and since 2010 — totaling 20 years of service. Governmental Finance is among his committee assignments.
He points to 6,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in new development coming to Henderson County, thanks to his efforts working with the Partnership for Economic Development.
Furthermore, he noted the county’s supplement to state teacher pay rose to 8.5 percent, and he backed new facilities for two of the four main public high schools.
His slogans include “Help me keep Henderson County the best place to live, work, raise your family and retire.”
Edney, 61, has a private law practice since 1985, when he received his law degree from the University of South Carolina. He is a 1979 grad of Hendersonville High School.
Check hendersoncountync.gov/directory-listing/j-michael-edney for more info.
Amy Lee Holt
Holt chaired the Board of Public Education, is its current vice-chairperson, and is in her third four-year term on the board. She was first elected in 2010. School board members work with commissioners, giving her insight into both roles.
School system achievements during her tenure include facility construction, equipping students with computers, restricted school access, trained school resource officers (SROs) at every school and more school social workers and therapists.
She calls for greater teacher pay. She said is conservative and for responsible spending. Yet she said as a school board member she realizes “to get results you also have to spend money. If I feel the school system really needs it to move forward” with “extra funds.”
Beyond education, “Creating a sustainable infrastructure for our community expansion” is a priority of hers. This to lessen impact of rising developments. It would involve expanding roads, water and sewer lines, power grids, and reliable high-speed internet connectivity. Holt said she would assist in helping figure out how to protect farm lands.
She cited Ronald Reagan’s quote that “We must have the courage to do what is morally right” as public servants.
Holt, who turns 49 this year, is the corporate finance officer (CFO) of Champion Comfort Experts heating and cooling for 18 years. The Homestead, Florida native is married and has been a county resident for a quarter century.
Check holtforhendersoncounty.org for more info.