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Hendersonville Mayor Greg Newman told local news outlets Monday that he’ll challenge Rep. Heath Shuler (D) in North Carolina’s 11th district next year.

Newman has served as mayor of Hendersonville since 2005 and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruiting committee, met with Newman during a trip to the district earlier this spring.

Other Republicans who have been mentioned as possible Shuler challengers are former state Rep. Charles Thomas and businessman Jeff Miller, who founded HonorAir in 2006 to fly World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to tour the World War II Memorial and other D.C. sites.

While Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried the 11th district by 5 points in last year’s presidential race, Shuler won a second term by beating Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower (R) by 26 points in a race that national Republicans did not target.

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