Leah Hampton

Leah Hampton

Waynesville resident Leah Hampton’s campaign for a seat on the Haywood County Board of Commissioners is all about quality- of-life issues.

As a professional writer with a bachelor’s degree, and two master’s degrees, Hampton said research is her strong point, and pledges she will stop at nothing to find solutions to challenging issues facing the county.

When asked to describe what one issue she would focus on and how she could make a difference, Hampton said enhancing the quality of life in Haywood encompasses multiple issues.

“Everything I want to do fits under the quality of life/opportunities for young people in the county category,” she said. “Expanding broadband, affordable housing, looking at education, expanding pre-K, working more than we do with Haywood Community College and even expanding county education programs — there are a lot of things we could to.”

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has a 2025 environmental plan that’s “really ambitious, a really good plan that comes with strategic markers and opportunities for grants,” she said. “We’re a county where people come for the environment. There’s a lot we could do that would be easy and in keeping with state’s governor. It’s an opportunity to bring clean tourism dollars into the region.”

People want to have a better quality of life, and the way to get there is by talking about infrastructure, she said. In Haywood’s case, that’s education and the environment.

“If we look at how money and opportunity can come into the region, that will be the most effective way to make things better for everybody,” she said.

Better broadband service is another quality-of- life issue Hampton said she would research until she found an answer.

“We need some new thinking on it — some innovative ways to make it happen,” she said. “I feel like the Democratic candidates get this more and will be more creative and dogged in making it happen.”

Hampton quoted the late U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings who would ask his staff every day, “what gift can we give our children today? How can we make this a place that is safe?”

It’s that spirit she wants to bring to the county if elected to a position on the board of commissioners.

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