WEST JEFFERSON — Jeanne Supin, Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s Fifth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, held a meet and greet at Boondocks’s Brew Haus Thursday, Oct. 24, to spread the word about her campaign.
Supin, a longtime health care professional and public policy professional, announced her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in April. Currently, she is the only Democratic candidate challenging longtime incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican.
A resident of Todd and daughter of two Ashe County residents, Supin said she knows Ashe County well. In her day job, she said she works for mental health and addiction support agencies, and at one point in her career, she worked for an agency located in Ashe County.
“What I do understand about Ashe is the issues are economic growth and economic development in a way that maintains the character and the quality of this community,” Supin said. “How do you balance a growing tourist economy and also creating ways for locals and families who have been here forever to thrive in their home communities?”
With some background in economic policy related to rural community revitalization, Supin said she believes she is well equipped for seeking ways to answer that question. Largely though, she said her primary background is in community health, mental health and addiction.
“I know the opioid crisis has touched Ashe County,” Supin said. “I know how to not only leverage federal dollars and investment, but also federal expertise and how best to serve those who are experiencing health challenges, and create wellness programs so people don’t have acute health issues.”
With about 30 years in the healthcare world, Supin added that it is a huge issue at the community level.
“I understand how health care works in small, local communities, especially more rural communities.”
Regarding her transition from health care to politics, Supin said she has spent her whole career in local communities figuring out how to take large federal policy and implement it in places such as West Jefferson, Jefferson, Wilkesboro and Boone.
“At this stage in my life I was trying to figure out how to expand my commitment to public service, so I want to be at the federal decision-making table,” Supin said. “I want to shape policy because I can bring a perspective of local communities to that policy-making table that I think is missing.”
Her mother, a retired educator, and her father, a minister, continue to be role models in her life, Supin said. The meet and greet event was organized by her mother, and she said she was not surprised in the least by the evening’s turnout for the event, totaling a few dozen people.
“My mother has always not only been my greatest champion and biggest fan, which as a kid growing up is the greatest ever, but my mother has also trail-blazed her entire life and has always lived a life of service,” Supin said.
Supin told the crowd that she isn’t running for U.S. Congress because of headlines and drama, she’s running for much deeper reasons, she said. During her speech, she noted reasons including workforce development, health care, college tuition and retirement.
“When a roofer, or a nurse, or a teacher or a caregiver has trouble making ends meet, that’s not bad money management, that’s bad policy,” Supin said. “I’m running for Congress because I know the difference between good policy and bad policy.”
Foxx, the only current challenger for Supin, stated at the 2019 Watauga County Republican Convention that she will run in 2020 for a ninth term.
For more information about Supin’s campaign, visit jeannesupinforcongress.com.