With N.C. Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, set to announce a run for North Carolina’s westernmost congressional district, NC-14, dominos are already starting to fall in one large western GOP county.

In an exclusive interview with Carolina Journal, recently retired Henderson County Manager Steve Wyatt confirmed he was considering running for the state Senate’s 48th District, which under a new election map will include Henderson, Polk, and Rutherford counties.

“I have received several phone calls from people encouraging me to run,” Wyatt tells CJ. “It is not something I was planning on doing, but I am humbled by the requests for me to continue serving the public.”

The newly drawn 48th District is a strong GOP seat, with the population heavily based in Henderson County at 58%, with Rutherford containing 32% of the voters, followed by Polk with nearly 10%, giving a Henderson-based candidate a strong advantage.

“If a strong candidate that I believe in rises to the occasion, I will support that candidate,” said Wyatt. “However, if that candidate fails to emerge, it is likely that I would feel a sense of obligation to strongly consider filling that void.”

In July, Wyatt retired from his position as county manager, a position he held since March 2006. For perspective, during Wyatt’s tenure as county manager, there have been four different Henderson County school superintendents, four Henderson County sheriffs, and three presidents of Blue Ridge Community College. The current western 11th Congressional District has had four different congressmen, there have been four N.C. governors, and four U.S. presidents.

Current state Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Henderson, appears also to be considering a run for the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

Moffitt has represented the 117th House District based in Henderson County since 2020.

Moffitt previously represented the 116th district based in Buncombe County from 2011 through 2014, when he lost a re-election bid against Democrat Brian Turner.

Should Moffitt opt to run for state Senate, a check of voter registration records shows that Wyatt also lives in Moffitt’s current 117th District, and that could also be an option should he choose.

“We are at a critical time in our state and nation, if you are not willing to put skin in the game, then you can’t complain,” said Wyatt.