Phillip Price is a small businessman, a musician, a Christian, a hunter and — truth be told — a bit of a hippie at heart. He is Western North Carolina, through and through.
He has raised a family, hiked these mountains and fished the lakes and streams here for 34 years. And that’s long enough to have had his fill of politicians who get our votes and then cater to billionaires instead of us.
So he’s doing something about it.
Phillip Price is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 11th District, hoping to earn your vote in the November 6 election. He wants to give Western North Carolina a voice in Congress instead of a rubber stamp for the agenda of the rich and powerful who seem to have bought complete ownership of Mark Meadows.
Why vote for Phillip? Because he’s one of us. He and his wife, Michelle, who grew up in Cashiers, have lived everywhere from McDowell to Macon counties, with stops in Buncombe, Transylvania, Haywood and Jackson along the way. Over the years, he has worked in every county in the district.
Phillip attended Western Carolina University for a time until his dad passed away. Drawn to a life on the road as a musician, Phillip toured the East Coast and Midwest with his band, D.S.F. Earth Corps. When he wasn’t touring or recording music, he was standing up for what he thought was right. That’s why Phillip once played on the steps of the Georgia Capitol at a pro-marijuana rally. He’s still pushing for legalization today. His band is still playing gigs, too.
But no matter where music has taken him, Phillip has always come back home to Western North Carolina. He settled down in Asheville and now lives in Nebo, a rural town in the foothills of McDowell County. That’s where he runs his business, Antique Reclaimed Lumber. Phillip deconstructs old barns and reclaims the wood for new uses from custom furniture to chestnut floors. He has earned those calluses on his hands building a sustainable green business that has employed over 40 through the years.
It hasn’t always been easy. Phillip used to go without health care, risking bankruptcy if he ever got injured or sick. But under the Affordable Care Act, he has been able to provide health insurance for his family. Every time Meadows bleats about repealing Obamacare, without ever offering anything comparable in exchange, he is putting a lot of us, including Phillip, in the crosshairs.
Health care shouldn’t be just for the well-to-do. He supports single-payer Medicare for all. It’s good for business and the Christian thing to do. A member of Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Asheville for 17 years, Phillip truly believes in caring for the sick and feeding the hungry instead of giving tax breaks to the rich and taking away health care.
“I’m just sick of bullying the poor people and the people who can’t take care of themselves because the system’s rigged against them,’’ Price said. “People inherit poverty. It shouldn’t be a death sentence.”
Yes, Phillip thinks like us. When you hike Whiteside Mountain or Devil’s Courthouse, you truly understand the beauty of this area of the country. You breathe it; you see it all around you. How could anyone allow loggers to strip the land of trees like Meadows wants to do to Blue Valley, even knowing that our environment is what makes tourism the No. 1 industry in Western North Carolina? How do you support destroying that environment and risking those jobs?
A vote for Meadows is a vote against your own backyard.
So vote for Phillip, because he lives like us. He sent his three children to public schools in Western North Carolina and they’ve excelled. But now there’s a state and federal push to privatize education, turning it into a for-profit business. If that happens, profit will inevitably come before education. Just like it comes before health care now. Phillip doesn’t want that for our kids.
Vote for Phillip because he won’t cozy up to billionaire friends who can funnel dark money into his campaign without anybody knowing who is buying his vote. Phillip stands against Citizens United – the Supreme Court ruling that allowed unlimited dollars to flow secretly to aid campaigns.
Those big dollars won’t be flowing to this campaign. It runs on small donations from your neighbors. From us.
That’s who Phillip Price will represent when he gets to Congress: Us.