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Democrat Terry Bellamy, the African-American mayor of the liberal city of Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday announced her bid to take on four-term Rep. Patrick McHenry (R) in the 10th district.
The lines of the 10th were changed rather dramatically in the GOP-led redistricting process, adding three-quarters of the city of Asheville to the district and thus watering down its conservative bent.
Still, it remains a staunchly Republican-voting district. It would have voted 57 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election and more than 60 percent for Sen. Richard Burr (R) in 2010.
While Democrats have an edge in voter registration, the trends in voting history portend a difficult battle ahead for Bellamy, should she, as expected, win the Democratic nomination. About 11 percent of the voting-age population in the 10th is black.
“Washington is broken, and people are tired of watching the bickering and political posturing while businesses and families are struggling,” Bellamy, in her second term as mayor, said in a statement. “As mayor, I’m expected to get results, and we should expect no less from our Representatives.”
McHenry won re-election in 2010 with 71 percent of the vote.
“Patrick welcomes the mayor of Asheville to the 10th district. He’s looking forward to discussing her tenure as mayor, including her role with President Obama’s failed stimulus plan,” McHenry spokesman Ryan Minto said. “We’ll gladly contrast Patrick’s conservative record of fighting for his constituents with the wasteful spending of Barack Obama.”