(Asheville Citizen-Times) A Republican senator’s proposal to fundamentally change Asheville City Council elections would knock out almost half of the current members right off the bat. A map of proposed election districts obtained by the Citizen-Times would pit five of seven council incumbents against each other, “double bunking” and even “triple bunking” them into the same districts. Asked Wednesday if the map was final — or if it would change before being submitted with the bill — Sen. Tom Apodaca responded via text, saying he was “looking at a couple of things.” He didn’t answer a phone call Wednesday afternoon, but texted back, saying the Senate was in session and he was on the floor.
Apodaca is the GOP chair of the powerful rules committee and represents Henderson and Transylvania counties and a small piece of South Asheville in Buncombe. Almost a week ago, he said he was considering mandating district elections, something that would come over protests from Asheville’s elected officials and the four other state lawmakers from Buncombe who represent parts of the city. The Democrats, who are in the minority in the General Assembly, said Apodaca told them he didn’t expect them to support the bill and would move forward despite their concerns.
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