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Western North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler’s third quarter campaign financing report indicates that the 11th Congressional race may actually be competitive next fall, as the two term incumbent raised only $87,178. Meanwhile, two GOP candidates vying for his seat, district attorney Jeff Hunt and Jackson County’s Mark Meadows posted impressive gains in the last quarter, each taking in more than Shuler. Democratic challenger and Asheville City-Councilman Cecil Bothwell took in a surprising $16,500 from individual contributions as well, besting Shuler by more than $6,000 in that particular category.

The campaign cycle is still in its infant stages and Shuler has already raised over $400,000 for his reelection bid next year. Although it is difficult to make predictions about the 2012 Congressional race from one quarter of fundraising, we can at least take a deeper look into the campaign finances of Shuler and his opponents.


Congressman Health Shuler’s international outreach continued earlier this month when he returned to Sri Lanka for the second time since he has been in office. Shuler and two other members of Congress, Congressman Jack Kingston, (R-Ga.) and Congressman Ben Chandler, (D-Ky), visited the country to see first-hand the progress the government has made after finally ending a 26-year-long civil war against the terrorist organization, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also called the Tamil Tigers. Members of congress met with Sri Lanka President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the 5th President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, who assumed his second term of office on Nov. 19, 2010, to discuss the country’s progess and future plans.

According to Shuler, he has remained active in following the progress of the Sri Lankan government, and he believes that the U.S. could learn a lot from the diligence and triumph of the foreign ally. “Sri Lanka is a long-time ally of ours and is accomplishing some incredible things right now,” said Cong. Shuler. “They are recovering from a civil war and making major investments in infrastructure and education. Their markets are exploding—U.S. exports are up 45% in 2011, and there are many promising trade and economic prospects that we are risking losing out on to China. There is a lot we can learn from Sri Lanka and a lot of opportunities we should be taking advantage of.”


Drivers urged to be alert on the roads as daylight savings time ends

The N.C. Department of Transportation is reminding motorists that daylight saving time ends next weekend and they need to be alert to the change. The switch back to standard time at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, means the sun will set an hour earlier in the day and leave less light for evening commuters. With the days getting shorter, drivers should be extra alert for pedestrians and cyclists along the roads.

“Motorists need to remember to use their headlights as dusk arrives and be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians and deer,” said NCDOT Traffic Safety Specialist Cliff Braam. “Bicyclists and pedestrians also should make themselves as visible as possible by wearing bright or light colored clothing and using lights and/or reflective vests as appropriate.”


Hagan introduces the Violence Against Women Health Initiative

U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) has introduced the Violence Against Women Health Initiative to raise awareness of domestic violence for health care providers allowing them to better assess and treat survivors of domestic violence.

“October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, but this is a problem that demands attention 365 days a year,” said Hagan. “The rates of violence and abuse in our country are unacceptable, and domestic violence has a significant impact on our country’s health, costing over $8.3 billion annually. This bill will streamline efforts to prevent and respond to domestic partner violence. I urge my colleagues to join me and support this bill so that we may work together towards a safer and healthier future for women and families.”


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