With candidate filing closed, Ashevillians now have five choices for the upcoming mayoral election. These candidates will compete through the Tues., May 17 Primary Election before being whittled down to the two contestants who will face off in November’s General Election. Read on to learn basic background on these folks, who are listed in order of the date they filed.
- Esther, a principal for The Van Winkle Law Firm, has served as Asheville’s mayor since 2013. Prior to those two terms, she served four years on City Council. If reelected, she hopes to continue her work on affordable housing, addressing homelessness, and public safety.
- Cliff, a first-time candidate + longtime area dentist, is part of the “Your Team Asheville” political alliance. His platform includes addressing public safety concerns, increasing government transparency + providing a conservative perspective in a predominantly liberal city.
- Michael, a first-time candidate + social justice activist best known for organizing the 2020 police violence protests, is the executive director of the nonprofit Umoja Health, Wellness, and Justice Collective. His platform includes racial equity, community healing, and increasing transparency + accountability for a more resilient community.
- Kim was elected to Asheville City Council in 2020 after an unsuccessful run in 2017. She is a piano teacher, community radio producer + activist and has served four years on the Asheville Multimodal Transportation Commission and Transit Committee. Her platform focuses on affordability (housing, wages, and beyond), diversifying public safety, and improving the public meeting process.
- Jonathan, a woodworker + community activist, began his foray into local politics in 2012 as a mayoral candidate and has unsuccessfully ran in several other elections. He has made waves in local headlines for several public arrests and involvement in a shouting match during a 2013 City Council forum. His platform includes legalizing marijuana and increased government transparency.