By Benjamin Cohn
Weaverville – If you were at Lake Louise Saturday morning, you likely saw some birthday parties and a small political event featuring local Democratic candidate Amanda Edwards.
“We did coffee and donuts,” Edwards said, gesturing at nearby coffee samovars and boxes of fresh pastries. “Many people stopped by to meet me, to hear more about the campaign, and many of them took packets and canvassed neighborhoods here in Weaverville.”
Weaverville is not as conservative as some may have thought, according to Edwards’ campaign manager Veronika Gunter. “It’s very much split,” between liberal and conservative residents.
Edwards described to the Tribune the feeling of running for public office, living a life in the public eye.
“It has been a great experience. It’s been exciting to be part of these really strong, intelligent female candidates coming forward to run, and to be part of that. It’s been a great opportunity to get to know so many people across the county, not just in District 2.”
The Democratic candidate for Buncombe County’s District 2 commissioner said she’s heard consistent themes when talking to individuals around the county. “Most of them center around the reasons that I chose to run,” she said.
The first reason she decided to run for public office was “restoring trust back to Buncombe County government. The second issue is k-12 schools, and that’s an area that Commission really does have an impact on every year.”
The Tribune asked Edwards to expand on how she views the role of county commissioner in terms of public education.
Buncombe County’s budget should consider the aging state of school buildings, Edwards said. “Knowing that teachers are leaving, and leaving our state in droves, that impacts our kids in the long term.”
Specific actions she would consider as county commissioner include “looking at increasing the teachers’ salary supplement and looking at how we can increase the number of social workers in our schools,” Edwards asserted.
“Kids have so many mental health situations that they’re facing. Our social workers play a huge role in that.”
The next public political event for Weaverville Democrats is September 29 the North Buncombe Candidate Forum, where guests can “hear what they [candidates] plan to do and ask them the questions you [sic] are concerned about,” from 10:30 to 12:30 am at Weaverville Town Hall.
Edwards left the Tribune with a final message.
“If we’re fully staffing our schools with a full-time, every day social worker and guidance counselors, it allows our teachers to be teachers.”