Sandra Kilgore is the daughter of John and Azalee Kilgore. She was reared in a very modest and loving home where her parents valued and insisted that she and her siblings were respectful, kind to their elders, and were civic-minded. Sandra’s childhood home was on Pine Grove Avenue and perhaps it is the love of her neighborhood that motivated her to purchase a building and establish her real estate business a few short blocks away from where she often played as a child.
It is no surprise that she started her own business, as she was very enterprising as a young girl. She cleaned houses, babysat worked at Ingles, Sears, dealt with poker sites and held a litany of other jobs during her school years to earn an honest income.
With decades of work experience, including Piedmont/British Airways/US Airways Airlines as a flight attendant, and leadership in her own real estate company, Sandra has a proven passion to help people realize their goals and find solutions.
Sandra has a son John Christian, who plays an essential role in her campaign. In the spirit of her parents before her, she teaches him the importance of mentoring youth, while still maintaining the oath of “good to the old is better than gold,” a quote often used by her father.
November 27, 2021
Buncombe County native, Sandra Kilgore will seek the seat of District 49, N.C. Senate. Sandra Kilgore is presently a member of the Asheville City Council1 and served three years on the Planning & Zoning Board.
Sandra Kilgore is a critical thinker and a fierce advocate; evident in her stance on repurposing of the Vance monument. She is obviously not afraid of a fight. She demonstrated her ability to see beyond the immediate challenges and look at the consequences long term. She viewed it as an opportunity to bring unity to an already fragmented community, a perspective rarely taken by today’s politicians.
While on Council, Kilgore gained an understanding of the importance of being at the table if you want to affect change. She feels that while many decisions are made with good intentions, they may sometimes have negative repercussions for others. Having a group of people familiar with the many nuances of various communities is the best way to ensure outcomes that are equitable and prosperous for all. “ Many of the decisions made by the city council are limited by State laws. Representation on all levels must be realized to ensure the voices of those most impacted are heard.” says Kilgore.
Sandra decided to run for Senate to be a voice for Buncombe County residents2. She realizes the importance of working together and negotiating in order to create solutions that benefit the county as a whole. Sandra is no stranger to the art of negotiations, as her business in real estate depends on it. She believes that even amidst a crisis, there are opportunities to be found. Kilgore has worked as a babysitter, cleaning and even playing online poker3. However, we must be willing to seek out areas where we can agree, reaching across the aisles and moving forward on those items. The worst outcome is to do nothing.
Kilgore’s decision to run was also due to the fact that many of our rights are under attack. Rights that we felt were protected are now being dismantled and weakened through state and local legislation. It is time to have those conversations as to how we can move forward without stepping on the rights of others.
Another issue of concern Kilgore said is the damage that is being done to our values and integrity. “We must all do what we can to bring back civility. We can not stand idly by while our democracy is being dismantled right before our eyes. This is not the time to be apathetic. This affects us all. It does not matter what race, religion or political affiliation. We all have to ask ourselves, is this the type of society we want for our children? The divisive culture that we now find ourselves confronting must be dealt with head on through constructive dialogue. This divisive culture only weakens us all. We must all work hard to seek out the truth and educate each other. We must not buy into the fear tactics that only weaken us.” Kilgore said.
Kilgore believes we must collectively do all we can to combat those fears; fears she believes are responsible for the methods of voter suppression and redistricting activity which are on the uptick throughout the country.
Kilgore always touted the need for unification within the community as well as throughout the nation. Unity does not mean giving in to another; instead unity is about bringing about compromise. She believes in the importance of working together to promote policy and initiatives which provide positive results. She states, “We must abandon the all or nothing mentality and move towards shared goals. We must seek out and capitalize on areas of agreement, which will spark the momentum necessary for change. As much as we would like things to change overnight, unfortunately we do not have that power. However, we do have the power to make wise decisions when necessary. That is why I decided to run for the North Carolina Senate.”
Kilgore believes that it is important that we make an effort to look at all sides of an issue. Kilgore’s astute ability to consider other points of view earned her the title “ the common sense candidate” by many of her constituents during her campaign.
Kilgore believes, “ At the end of the day, we all want the same thing. We want safe, clean and functional communities. We want economic sustainability. We want equality and equity opportunities to better support our families and to routinely enjoy the many pleasantries of life.”
Kilgore is presently a member of the Land of the Sky Board of Directors, as well as a liaison to the TDA Board of Directors, Greater Asheville Regional Airport, The African American Heritage Commission, Planning & Zoning, Board of Adjustments and Parks And Recreation.
She is also assigned to the following City of Asheville committees: Planning and Economic Development, Finance & Human Resources and Public Safety.
Sandra Kilgore was born and raised in Asheville. She attended Asheville City Schools and continued her education at UNCA majoring in Art & Art History4. She began her career as a flight attendant in 1976 for Piedmont Airlines. She later was selected to train in London with British Airways due to a code agreement between the airlines. Although the merger was never approved, Kilgore had the opportunity to expand her international travel and experience for a few years thereafter.
Kilgore was first licensed in 1986 as a Real Estate Agent in Asheville. She returned home in 2012, and opened a boutique real estate office in the Southside community, where she was raised as a child. She recently opened a second office downtown Asheville on Market Street, which was once a bustling business community for African Americans.
She has one son, John Christian Dawson who has been instrumental in her career journey, and is one of her biggest fans.
Kilgore stated, “I am humbled by the support I have received in the community and am excited about the opportunities to serve in the future.”
Sandra Advocates For
Being a voice for all the people of the region will be my top priority. I will educate myself on the needs of the people and work across the aisles to bring more resources back. I will work to strengthen our argument in Raleigh to receive a larger portion of the lottery income. This income could assist with investments towards education, money for roads, transportation, and workforce training initiatives. Monies are also necessary for giving special attention to the achievement gap of minority students in the local region. Additional resources are needed to help provide a more conducive environment imperative for the success of many of the students.
President Biden’s Infrastructure bill will have a tremendous impact on the lives of so many. It is of the utmost importance those at the table understands their needs. Many lives could radically changed for the best, with the many benefits this program offers. Diverse representation is warranted to to ensure that the outcomes are prosperous and equitable for all. Getting people back to work is one of the most pressing issues to ensure viability of the economy. It is important that we seek out innovative ways to meet the people where they are to provide a bridge that connects them to the many opportunities available in the workforce. The impact of the virus has disrupted many lives. It is presenting an existential threat to the overall economy, just as carbon emissions is threatening the viability of the world. We must put measures in place to ensure the environment is protected by addressing climate change.
Voter’s rights are under attack all over the country. I am committed to standing up for the rights of the people. Many local and state legislations are rolling back and repealing many of the laws that were in place to protect our rights. We must work together to educate and increase voter registration in order to prevent our democracy from being destroyed. Aggressive and unfair redistricting and gerrymandering is being carried out throughout the country. The courts have turned down the current Voter ID proposal so a new one will have to be developed. The voting system should provide every citizen with easy access to exercise their voting rights. This should not be a partisan issue. Women’s right is another issue I will stay focused on protecting. The repeal of Roe Vs Wade would be devastating to this country.
It is imperative that we push the state legislation harder for Medicare/Medicaid expansion, which would help many low income residents, and possible reduce the overall cost to the government in the future. This federally funded initiative would apparently expand the coverage for about 500,000 people. It is difficult for me to understand why this legislation has not been voted on and approved.
Advocate for an improved split between the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) and the community. Additional funding could be used to improve on issues such as deferred maintenance of roads and infrastructure, affordable housing, homelessness and community development. Marketing dollars for the TDA could be redistributed to include more funding towards the betterment of the community to ensure sustaining the vibrance and desirability of the region.
In the News
Can Repurposing the Vance Monument Help Heal the Divide in Asheville?
“The first recorded obelisks date back to the 11th century B.C., and to the ancient Egyptians, they symbolized the sun god Ra. That makes the architectural form 13,000 years old. It symbolized the concept of duality and balance. Obelisks are thought to represent good energy and dispel negative forces. These works of art are known all over the world, and many are located throughout the United States. Among the most notable are the Washington Monument, Cleopatra’s Needle in New York’s Central Park and the Newkirk Monument in Philadelphia. Those monuments will always have a place in history.
Asheville’s obelisk itself does not represent the Confederacy. Many of the Confederate statues removed thus far were made in the image of Confederate soldiers, not stand-alone obelisks. Asheville is known to be a city of the arts, and the monument represents one of Asheville’s oldest art structures in downtown Asheville…”