Meet Brian Turner

A Background of Service

Brian Turner grew up in Asheville and moved back 20 years ago to start a family and be back in the community that helped form who he is. Upon returning, he jumped in with both feet to volunteer and be active in the community. Over the years Brian has served on the Civic Center Commission, volunteering and serving on the boards of United Way, the Verner Center for Early Learning, AB Tech Foundation, and UNCA Foundation. Brian currently is a board member for the non-partisan Institute for Political Leadership and a member of the NC Dept. of Commerce’s Taskforce for Offshore Wind Economic Resource Strategies (NC TOWERS).

Professional Experience

Brian Turner’s professional background shows a similar desire for learning and growing. During his high school years, he worked bussing tables and cooking at Fuddruckers on Charlotte St. (R.I.P.) and later as a sewing machine operator at Mills Manufacturing, the parachute manufacturing business started by his grandfather in the 1930’s. After college Brian worked as a television producer for MTV producing live shows such as the Super Bowl Halftime, Video Music Awards, and Staying Alive a World Aids Day concert in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2004 Brian moved back to North Carolina where he served on the leadership team of his family’s business and helped the company adopt new ways of thinking about manufacturing and employee relations.

Following the retirement of his father and with Mills in the capable hands of his brother-in-law, Brian joined UNC Asheville as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations in 2012. After taking responsibility for the Family Business Forum and Leadership Asheville, Brian was promoted to Assistant Vice Chancellor where he worked to connect businesses statewide with the university, its professors, and most importantly its students.

Legislative Experience

In 2014, Brian Turner stepped up and ran to represent North Carolina’s District 116 in the State House of Representatives. In the legislature, Brian focused his efforts on supporting public education, protecting our state’s mountains and rivers, and growing local economies.

Widely considered one of the most effective legislators in WNC, Brian made a name for himself working in a bipartisan way to help pass legislation that will impact the region for generations to come. He worked to secure the new Pisgah View State Park, brought manufacturing jobs to the area, raised the minimum age of marriage in NC from 14 to 16, and fought to give survivors of child sexual assault their day in court against their abusers. He also stood with the LGBTQ+ communities in voting against HB2, the infamous bathroom bill, and the flawed compromise bill HB 142.

Endorsements & Values

During his tenure, Brian Turner was honored three times by the NC League of Conservation Voters for his work on environmental issues, received the Jobs Champion recognition from the NC Chamber of Commerce, and was previously endorsed by Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, IAFF Local 865, WNC Central Labor Council, NCAE, and BCAE. You can see endorsements for Brian’s current campaign here.

Since his first campaign, Brian Turner has not accepted a single PAC check and has returned tens of thousands of dollars in special interest and corporate PAC money.

Brian Turner’s Return to Service

Following a pause to focus on his family, Brian Turner is seeking to return to the legislature to ensure residents of Buncombe County and City of Asheville have reliable, experienced leadership with a proven track record of delivering for the people he represents.

A lifelong learner, Brian Turner has a degree in Economics from Northwestern University, an MBA from Wake Forest University, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Energy and Environmental Management at the University of Connecticut.

When he’s not working to earn votes in his community, Brian is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys taking his teenage daughter, Eleanor, on outdoor adventures camping, hunting, and hiking.