Donaldson, Price, Woodsmall seeking Democratic nomination for U.S. House; 3 Democrats to face off in state Senate Primary


Hendersonville physician Scott Donaldson is running as a Democrat for United States Congress in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, a seat currently held by three-term Republican Mark Meadows.

Donaldson made the decision to run after growing weary of seeing his community struggle to receive the affordable healthcare he felt they deserved, according to a press release.

“As a doctor, I’ve devoted my entire life to caring for people,” he said. “I’ve seen the struggles of the hardworking families of North Carolina – their American Dream is on life support. Our district, our state and our country are calling 911. I’m running for Congress because I believe health promotes wealth. Affordable health care is the first, and actually easiest, of many problems, we can solve.”

Donaldson said he believes in a healthy democracy, healthy citizens, healthy environment and a healthy future.

Donaldson has weekly events at his campaign headquarters in Hendersonville and regularly appears at other regional community and campaign events.

He is presently Chief of Staff at Pardee Hospital, where he also serves on the Pardee Board of Directors. He is also a board member of Western Carolina Medical Society WCMS and First Contact Ministries.

Donaldson is known for his book, “Urological Surgery and Light Haulin” and the local radio show “Just Sayin’.”

Donaldson is facing Phillip Price and Steve Woodsmall for the Democratic nomination in the May 8 Primary Election.

The winner will face Meadows in the Nov. 6 General Election.




McDowell County Democrat Phillip Price has officially filed to run in the 2018 race to represent the people of Western North Carolina in the 11th Congressional District.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back to my community as I ask for their support and their vote for this important office in this critical election year,” Price said in a press release. “It’s time to return the working people’s voice to the People’s House in Washington, D.C. My voice will echo loudly through the halls of Congress demanding fairness, justice and equal opportunity for all.”

Price began his campaign nearly 11 months ago and has developed a plan that addresses the 11th District’s needs for health care, environmental protection, educational reform, infrastructure improvements and higher wages.

Price has lived and worked in the 11th district for more than 33 years and has been married to Michelle, a Jackson County native, for 21 years.

The couple has three children.

Price operates a small lumber recycling business and has lived in six counties in the 11th District, according to a press release.



Dr. Steve Woodsmall, of Brevard, has officially filed with the FEC and the NC State Board of Elections as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 11th District of North Carolina.

Woodsmall served in the U.S. Air Force and retired at the rank of Major. He is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 11th District in a bid to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who was first elected to the House in 2012.

“I’m running for the people of the 11th District because I learned early in my service to the country, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” Woodsmall said in a press release. “I want to be part of the solution. That is my promise to the people of the 11th and that is my pledge: reasonable solutions for reasonable people. The people of the 11th District are good people who care for one another and want someone who represents them. Their representative should be one who listens to them and legislates for their interests.”

Woodsmall said he just some of things for which he advocates is getting big money out of politics, ensuring quality health care as a fundamental right for everyone, ensuring legal protections for individuals brought into the country as children, protecting Social Security and Medicare, among other issues. Woodsmall is currently a professor and program coordinator for the business and organizational leadership program at Brevard College. He holds a Ph.D. in organization and management and a master’s degree in business administration.

Woodsmall is also a former NCAA women’s college basketball official and serves as a referee for high school basketball teams across NC.

He has four children, six grandchildren and lives with his wife in Pisgah Forest.




State Senate


Christopher Rumfelt is an attorney, former social worker, former corrections officer and honorably discharged Air Force veteran from McDowell County.

He entered the race for NC Senate because he believes he can better represent the citizens of his district than Sen. Ralph Hise, according to a press release.

He said his primary focus is to attract businesses that would create better jobs in the area; to advocate for roads improvements and infrastructure projects which would assist in making this area more attractive to potential employers; to work toward better funding for our public schools; to return more autonomy back to our state supported colleges and universities; to tackle the opioid drug crisis which our state is facing including an extension of Medicaid coverage for working adults who cannot afford private coverage, and mandated drug treatment courts for those charged with drug possession crimes as opposed to using jail and prison as treatment and detox centers; for a repeal of many of the repressive GOP social and criminal laws which have been enacted and caused our state national embarrassment and ridicule; for a repeal of the tax cuts for our wealthiest citizens, as well as repeal of the newly enacted sales tax on services, to fund our state properly, including pay raises for teachers and our hard working state employees; to end the unconstitutional gerrymandering practices of the GOP and to end the current attempts of the GOP to drastically cut the power and structure of our courts; to work for some sensible gun laws in NC to include better background checks for gun purchasers, a ban on bump stocks and high capacity magazines, which turn legally purchased rifles into weapons of war, and to oppose any law which allows 18 year olds to conceal carry in our state, or anyone else, without having to at least successfully complete a conceal carry course and pass a background check by the sheriff; to fight to protect women’s choice as well as equal protections under law for all citizens; for legalization of marijuana, at the least medicinally; and to end the war on the working poor in NC by protecting the SNAP program from proposed cuts by the legislature.




Democrat Cheryl Swofford, 70, of Marion, is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina’s 47th Senatorial District.

She has lived in McDowell County most of her life and has a son who is a Green Beret in the U.S. Army, a daughter and four grandchildren.

She has earned five college degrees, including an M.D. she completed at age 56. I worked mostly in clinical research, with jobs at Emory and Duke universities.

“I want to work to help North Carolina become better than ever – to try to do more to prevent these horrible mass shootings; to have good jobs with better pay, better healthcare and other needed services such as high-speed internet for all and educational opportunities, of course,” Swofford said in a speech. “I want to protect this great, beautiful state from pollution; to advance civil rights, and to fight the GOP’s too often ‘help the rich but hurt the poor’ agenda.”

If elected, Swofford said she will work to raise the minimum wage after a study to determine what would be reasonable.

“North Carolina has one of the nation’s top 12 or so economies but the lowest minimum wage, along with 11 other states,” she said. “We have the lowest corporate tax rate in the country, which dropped from nearly 7 percent to 3 percent under Duke Energy Gov. McCrory, while some North Carolina corporate CEOs make 1,000 times the minimum wage; and the average US CEO pay is about 350 times that of the average worker.”

Swofford added she would like to see Medicaid expanded or some other solution to assure health care for everyone by raising taxes on the wealthy and repealing the 5.5 percent tax cap for the wealthy.




David B. Wheeler, of Spruce Pine, has filed as a Democrat in the state Senate District 47 race.

Wheeler was born in Norwalk, Iowa, in 1965, to politically active parents. His first campaign was at 10 years old.

From there, Wheeler worked on more than two-dozen campaigns in Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack’s (then-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) inauguration and numerous live TV forums. In addition, he was selected as a House of Representatives Page, U.S. Senate intern, restarted the dormant Iowa Young Democrats and was elected and served on the Young Democrats National Committee from 1987-89.

In 2017, Wheeler and three other partners and investors formed the International Higher Education Group LLC (, based in Spruce Pine, with offices in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Wheeler leads the company as CEO and a founding shareholder.

The company is focused on providing international university and college students with scholarships and global choices through a matchmaking platform set to launch in the summer of 2018. The company plans to add 25 new jobs in Mitchell County by late 2018 and an additional 25 jobs in 2019.

Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley appointed Wheeler as a founding member the Chicago-Galway Sister Cities Committee in 1990 and he was re-appointed by current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative appointed Wheeler to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance in 2010-2012.

Wheeler graduated from the University of Iowa in 1987 with a degree in political science and an emphasis in economics. His wife, Jeannine Marchand, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is an accomplished local artist. They live near Spruce Pine with their children, Calia, 7; Nicholas, 5; and Quinn, 2.

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
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