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Over 18 months — from the first overtures at the Paris Air Show to the vote by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners authorizing property tax breaks — elected leaders in Buncombe and Henderson counties and beyond, the industry recruiting apparatus of the state and region and the community college system had scrambled to meet the needs of the prized aerospace catch.

As often happens in the recruitment of a prized manufacturer, a bidding war ensued. A major gap in the Biltmore Farms pitch was the lack of access, a challenge that a new bridge over the French Broad River would solve. Problem: Around that time it came to light that the North Carolina Department of Transportation had overspent its construction budget by $700 million. There would be no bridge money from the DOT. Enter state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who represents Henderson, Transylvania, and southern Buncombe County.

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — North Carolina state Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards made his ire known in a tweet this week about the conduct of newly sworn-in fellow Republican U.S. Congressman Madison Cawthorn.

“There’s a right and wrong way to conduct yourself as a legislator,” Edwards tweeted about Cawthorn on Jan. 12. “And I’m extremely concerned about Congressman Cawthorn’s conduct. As a legislator, I don’t need to be threatened to do the job the voters hired me to do.”

Newly-elected North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn (R – NC 11) spoke to a crowd on Jan. 6 before a group protesters stormed the capitol in what is now being called by some politicians "an act of domestic terrorism."

On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) issued the below statement:

People across North Carolina have gone months without unemployment checks while waiting for the state to consider their appeals of denied benefits. The wait times in North Carolina are far higher than the nationwide average.

The appeals system has been overwhelmed by people contesting denied benefits. Since March 15, 2020, over 430,000 people have been denied benefits in North Carolina — nearly 1 in 3 people who’ve applied for unemployment. Experts attribute the large volume of denials in North Carolina at least partly to changes to the state’s unemployment system that predate the pandemic.

State lawmakers, including Republicans N.C. Sen. Chuck Edwards and N.C. Rep. Jake Johnson, are back in Raleigh, with the General Assembly convening yesterday.

In the Senate, Edwards represents District 48, which includes Transylvania, Henderson and Buncombe counties. Edwards has been appointed to the following committees: Agriculture, Energy and Environment (chair), Commerce and Insurance (chair), Appropriations on Agriculture, Environment and Natural resources (chair), Finance, Judiciary, Redistricting, and Rules and Operations of the Senate.