N.C. Senate candidate visits Ashe

By Nathan Ham

September 1, 2014

North Carolina’s 45th District Senate candidate Jim Sponenberg spent part of his Thursday on a trip to the High Country to visit Ashe County.

Sponenberg, a Democrat, will be running against Republican incumbent Dan Soucek for the state Senate seat in November.

The 45th district includes the counties of Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga.

Sponenberg, a resident of Lenoir, has spent nearly all of his life in North Carolina. He was three months old when his parents decided to move to Moncure, North Carolina from Nevada in 1943.

His father was a Methodist minister and his mother was a public school teacher.

Sponenberg said that education is very near and dear to him and is one of the biggest reasons why he chose to run for office. He has a daughter and a son-in-law that are both teachers and wants to see the public education system protected, improved and supported by the state.

Sponenberg, a retired banker, hopes to bring more job creation and economic development to the counties in the 45th district and wants to see Northwestern North Carolina flourish.

The senate candidate is also very much concerned about land protection and conservation. Sponenberg says he wants to not only protect the overall beauty of the area, but also protect the wildlife areas for hunters and fishermen as well as the state parks and forests.

During his visit on Thursday, Sponenberg enjoyed a lunch at Smoky Mountain Barbecue in West Jefferson with Rick and Jane Gardner, Judy Bare and Dave Smith. After that, he went and visited Ashe County High School before coming to enjoy the downtown streets of West Jefferson.

For more information on Sponenberg and his campaign, visit his website at

Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87