Cecil Bothwell, candidate for the U.S. Congress in North Carolina’s 11th District in WNC, will be coming to Franklin to host a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2, to meet with voters about his run to unseat Congressman Health Shuler. Bothwell is currently an Asheville City Councilman, a seat he was elected to on Nov.3, 2009.
“Town Hall type meetings are the best way for citizens to gain a personal impression of a candidate, and to get straight answers on the issues that matter to them,” Bothwell said of his upcoming meeting in Franklin. “Our current Congressman doesn’t hold regular constituent meetings, and that’s something that will change when I am elected.”
Bothwell was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1950, but has been a Buncombe County resident for more than 30 years. He attended Emory University, Prescott College and the University of New Hampshire.
From 1971 into the 1990s he was a building contractor, and has focused on “green building” for 25 years, and lived in a solar (photovoltaic and passive heat) powered home from 1979 to 2001.
Bothwell began transitioning to writing, reporting and editing in 1989. He was the founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal in 1998 and became the managing editor of the Mountain Xpress in 2002. He has published eight books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the bestselling guide to Asheville and a national syndicated column, “Duck Soup.”
Bothwell’s campaign platform includes: “Jobs, Not Cuts;” “Education for All;” and “Strengthening Social Security and Medicare.” His specific plans to create jobs in WNC include support for the American Jobs Act, the SummerJobs+ program, and creation of a new Civilian Conservation Corps to retrofit buildings and install both a smart grid and broadband wireless throughout the region. “Federal law mandates that we create jobs under the Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Act of 1978. And the only way we are going to build our way out of the Great Recession is to put people back to work,” said Bothwell.
With the deadline for Congressional candidates to file being on Feb. 13, there has been speculation about Bothwell switching between running as an Independent or as a Democrat. According to the congressional candidate, he will run as a Democratic candidate since he is a registered Democrat. “I am pretty disgusted with both major parties for their dependence on corporate and Wall Street donors, so I initially thought to run as an independent,” said Bothwell. “However, the parties have stacked the rules in North Carolina to make it very hard to get on the ballot. No independent congressional candidate has ever collected enough verified signatures to get ballot access. So, with the advice of many friends and supporters, and since I am and have always been a registered Democrat, I decided to run in the primary and declare my independence by refusing corporate support,” he concluded.
The meeting will be held at the Macon County Library on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 5:30-7:00.