Corbin, Davis endorse Gillespie for House seat District 120

Macon County Commissioner Karl Gillespie (center) has announced his candidacy for House District 120 with the endorsement of Sen. Jim Davis (L) and Rep. Kevin Corbin who is vacating his House seat to run for the N.C. Senate, after Davis announced he would not run for reelection.

Brittney Lofthouse

Contributing Writer

Since Rep. Kevin Corbin announced he would be running for the Senate for District 50, he was proud to endorse fellow Macon County native and county commissioner Karl Gillespie to fill his seat in the House of Representatives. 

“My biggest concern in vacating my house seat was finding someone who will be passionate about far western North Carolina,” said Rep. Corbin. “I believe Karl is that kind of guy. He has been an excellent county commissioner that will be looking out for the best interest of these four far western counties.”

Ironically, when Kevin Corbin was appointed to the Macon County Board of Commissioners, it was to replace Senator Jim Davis when he decided to run for Senate. Corbin is now running to replace Davis in the Senate. Gillespie was elected to the board of Commissioners to replace Corbin when he decided to seek state office with the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2016. 

Sen. Davis echoed Rep. Corbin’s support of Gillespie. “Karl has done a great job as county commissioner and will be a responsible voice for the citizens of Western North Carolina,” said Davis.

While news of Gillespie’s intention started to leak late last week, he made his formal announcement Saturday afternoon at the Macon County Republican Headquarters on the Highlands Road. 

“Senator Davis and Representative Corbin are dynamic voices in Raleigh for Western North Carolina,” Macon County GOP Chairman Carla Miller said on Saturday. “Without a doubt, Macon County Commissioner Karl Gillespie will continue their great leadership and service to the West.  The dedication, talent, passion and integrity on our behalf, of all three of these great men, is unequalled.”

Gillespie, a conservative, was elected to the Macon County Board of Commissioners in November 2016. As a fifth generation Maconian and longtime business owner, Gillespie entered county politics to help shape the future of the community he loves. 

“Being involved in local politics was an opportunity to give back to a county that had been home to our family for generations,” Gillespie said.

Now, with Gillespie’s term as a commissioner ending, he has set his sights on state office in order to continuing being a voice and proud advocate for not just Macon County, but all of Western North Carolina. 

“Serving in the NC House would be an honor. I will do my best to represent the interests of all the citizens in the far Western counties of North Carolina,” said Gillespie. 

Gillespie and his wife, Janet, have one son, Logan. After working away from Franklin, Gillespie moved back home in 1999 and founded National Communications, Inc. (NCI). Starting with just one technician, NCI has since grown the business to become a regional leader in the industry. 

In addition to being a business owner, Gillespie is an active community servant, volunteering his time on the Macon County Planning Board prior to being elected as commissioner as well as serving on the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees and the Macon County Farm Bureau board of directors. 

Gillespie is the first candidate to formally announce candidacy for North Carolina House District 120. Candidate filing for most 2020 contests begins on Dec. 2, at noon and ends on Dec. 20, at noon, which puts Gillespie’s announcement ahead of the game. Rep. Corbin’s announcement for NC Senate also comes well before the filling period begins. 

With Gillespie’s announcement to run for NC House, his seat on the Macon County Board of Commissioners will be up for grabs during the 2020 election. Gillespie is the first commissioner to announce intentions for something other than reelection to the board of commissioners. Macon County Commissioner Paul Higdon is also up for re-election in 2020 and has yet to make an announcement on whether or not he will once again be filing for office. 

As it stands, Voter ID will be required statewide starting in the 2020 elections. The NC State Board of Elections as well as the Macon County Board of Elections will be providing information on implementing Voter ID. The State Board will be sending out mailers tentatively scheduled for late November 2019 (large postcard format) December 2019 (booklet format) and in February of 2020 (large mailer). All voters will be required to have a valid identification card in order to vote in the 2020 election. 

For additional information about candidate filings or voter ID, contact the Macon County Board of Elections (828)349-2034.