Stephanie Hofeller, Gerrymanderer's Daughter Endorses Steve


Stephanie knows Steve will do the right thing to represent the constituents of District 11 in WNC

February 6th, 2020

Greetings, North Carolina, Hofeller, here...Stephanie, that is. 

That last name, Hofeller, does that ring a bell? Because I am known better as Tom’s daughter, Thomas Hofeller, recently deceased, GOP Redistricting expert - the one who drew those gerrymandered voting-district maps and inspired the attempted, Census citizenship question. 

The computer backups he left behind, that I shared with North Carolina Common Cause brought unprecedented publicity to political demographics but more importantly, in the hands of an amazing legal team from Arnold & Porter, they were helpful in winning court cases against some of my late father’s work. I am pleased about that, and I still have a lot to do.

Now, as you might imagine, a lifetime of experiences have left me with, well, a nasty taste in my mouth when it comes to the question of government. So, endorsing a political candidate might seem like an unexpected move for me. And yet, I am endorsing Steve Woodsmall for Congress. The endorsement wasn’t his idea. He and his wife BJ really wanted to thank me, personally, tell me that my efforts were appreciated, and ask if there was anything I needed. And they wanted to tell me that we had in common, a hope for justice and positive change.

Hope, justice, positive change, shared goals, I certainly like that. Now, recognizing these common goals, it seemed natural to ponder ways that we could work together.  

During a conversation with BJ, I was talking about my a-political political beliefs, including the feeling that more power should be in the hands of the people...maybe, even more than our current system allows…

But it is that, our current system, and if I were to chose the Federal Office that would be least...corruptible...

Well, let’s see...

The lower the person to politician ratio, the more power stays in the hands of the people, right?

Well, 720,000, or so people per one Representative...OK…

Well, that’s a lot of people (quite a bit more than the 40,000 it was back in 1787, and those guys weren’t even aiming for inclusive) 

But, at the federal level, it’s the best that we’ve got. And even though the counting has been, historically, inaccurate (often intentionally) at least there are numbers involved (unlike that other chamber that you noticed in the news this week).

But, North Carolina, District 11, what a story! I mean, I don’t actually live in North Carolina, but we effectively adopted each other, don’t you think? 

And, there YOU are.

And through the efforts of some really good and talented people, supplemented by a chain of incredibly unlikely coincidences, you now have one of the closest to fair, (for sure, one of the most widely scrutinized) congressional district maps in the country.

And that's not all...

By the same or similar process, you also have, at this moment:

  • A more reasonable voter registration policy,
  • No upcoming, list purges,
  • No unconstitutional ID requirements…
  • Good information and very few threats, delivered to you via distributed mailings…

It can be argued (and I'm going to argue it) that for you, North Carolina, here and now, any vote is a protest vote—a true and meaningful blow to a plan to seize unjust power, and a statement opposing the injustice that my father, with his typical sensitivity, described with a chuckle:

“Instead of the voters choosing the politicians, the politicians get to choose the voters.”

When he said it to me, he did not get a laugh. But, as I said before, I don’t much care for politicians. And I like them even less when they take orders from their party and not from their constituents. 

Endorsing a political party is NOT what I want to do, so I’m not endorsing the DNC, or the caucus, or either party, or any party, on any level. 

I’m endorsing Steve Woodsmall, because I believe that his sense of right and wrong, won’t allow him to do things like, put the party before the matter how convenient it might seem.

Because a party shouldn’t be anything more than a means to the end of getting things done for the people, right? Not the other way around.

Yeah…I remember now...

A Constitution that limits the government that We the People formed, in trust. Yeah, those rules are not for us to obey, they are for us to enforce

Boy, do we have a lot of enforcing to do.

Steve has a lot of experience in public service. He understands his duty to defend that Constitution, now, more than ever. And I know that he also accepts his duty to stay within the boundaries set, should you properly elect him a lawmaker, and send him to Washington DC, to represent you to, and defend you from, a Federal Government run amok.

And I do mean all of you, not just Democrats, not just donors, not just voters, not even just humans, everything, because everything matters. 

Those divisions and boundaries and borders, like the maps my father drew, they’re arbitrary, man-made, erased and man-made again. 

We the People, We the Planet, diversity is our beauty, and understanding is our power.

Undermine efforts to stratify, isolate, and rule us, hoping that we’ll forget that none of us ever promised to obey, but instead, only some of us, (the few that were asked), gave conditional and revocable consent to be governed.

And there I go, quoting political philosophy that, decades ago, my father was first to teach me, with an enthusiasm contagious enough to last me right through the loss of his own, all the way to now.

I’m pretty sure it’s with me to stay...

So, I don’t give my endorsement lightly

And I told Steve that he’d better expect to hear from me, and I’d better have his ear, whether it’s praise or complaints, or whatever. And without missing a beat, he agreed, and he sounded sincere to me.

Listen, Tom Hofeller was my father, and I failed to break through and bring him back to those ideals that he taught me to cherish.

Over the years, he was bewildered by my stubbornness. “You won’t break that wall of injustice with your head”, he would say. “Perhaps,” I would respond.  “But I’m afraid I would rather crack my skull on it, trying to bring it down, than sit and watch it stand there, in front of me”. Now, in spite of that enthusiasm, I really don’t wanna go back to DC (but I will if I have to). 

Steve Woodsmall, he is ready to go, so I say, send him.

Vote for him next week, and again in November.

Now, I, myself, have to stay here in my other, adopted home state, Kentucky, because we have a Mitch McConnell to deal with. 

But if Steve were my candidate, I would vote for him. And, if that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.

Power to the People, North Carolina!



...more to come.... you will hear in her own words the audio recording and video of her powerful message.  


Erica Smith NC Senator, US Senator Candidate

NC Senator Erica Smith & Steve Woodsmall, PhD, USAF Major (ret)

I can't tell you how honored and proud I am to have the endorsement of US Air Force Major DrSteve Woodsmall (Ret). 

Steve is taking on Mark Meadows in the 11th District of North Carolina. And just as he did for 20 years in the Air Force, he will attack this endeavor with the utmost competence and verve. Steve's service to the nation stands leagues apart from developer Meadows. He has established himself in the communities of Western North Carolina as a man of honor and integrity who is more than qualified to represent the 11th Congressional District. 

I look forward to working with Steve to help bring the voice of North Carolina strongly back to Congress next November.

-Senator Erica Smith, NC

Gale Mull, Mayor Pro tem Canton NC

Gale Mull & Steve Woodsmall, PhD

As a retired member of U.S.W Local 507, I know Steve Woodsmall will fight for the rights of all workers and fight for a living wage. As a town official, I know that the policies that Steve supports will not only help the individual but also communities and small towns across the district. 

-Gale Mull

Linda Wilkins-Daniels Past President African American Caucus, NCDP

Linda Wilkins-Daniels & Steve Woodsmall USAF, Major (ret) PhD

Steve Woodsmall is a clear choice for congress with a comprehensive, problem-solving background that has a strong appeal to a diverse base of voters. 

I can think of no better person to represent all of the people in North Carolina's 11th congressional district. He has my full support and endorsement! 

Linda Wilkins-Daniels

Previous President

African American Caucus, NCDP

2015 - 2019

Jenna Wadsworth

Jenna Wadsworth

I’m proud to announce my endorsement of Dr. Steve Woodsmall for Congress. Steve has shown a willingness to work hard for the people of Western North Carolina by attending over 219 community events and counting. 

I have had many opportunities to stump with Steve as we both campaign and share our visions for bringing responsive, innovative leadership to North Carolinians. Every time we speak, I come away impressed by not only his bold plans that would help the people in his district but also his sense of character and authenticity. Steve understands the importance of expanding both healthcare options and broadband access across our rural counties, and he too wants to preserve our small family farms. 

Steve Woodsmall has exactly the type of fight in him that Western North Carolina needs. I hope you’ll vote for the fierce fighter that NC’s 11th District deserves! 

Jenna Wadsworth

Candidate, NC Commissioner of Agriculture

Vice-Chair, Board of Supervisors



Former Students

As a former professor, students still contact me to share their stories and ask for advice in the business world.  Its humbling to know that I've made an impact in their lives. 

 “There is strong shadow where there is much light.” 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


No Dem Left Behind

Our Mission: 

We want to bring this party together in a way it has never seen before. This groundbreaking campaign is about the people who make this country great: you. We hope to show you that there are candidates from across the nation that are always ready to fight the good fight and stand up for what matters most. We are ready to remind Washington that these issues affect Americans day in and day out. We know we work best when we work together, and we will never forget that. 

 “There is strong shadow where there is much light.” 

Heather Hawn, PhD, Mars Hill University Political Science

Educators support Steve Woodsmall, PhD for Congressional District race NC11  Dr. Hawn talks about the hardwork Steve has put in to earn your vote.  He was running against Mark Meadows when the race was hard.  Listen to what she has to say about Steve representing WNC District 11 and you too! 

Livia's Testimonial

Students support Steve Woodsmall, PhD for Congressional District race NC11.   As a former alumni of Brevard College, she uses the values and skills Steve taught her class and other students.  Listen to why she supports Steve and how she is making a difference as a result of his education. 



Freethought Equality Fund Endorsement

The Freethought Equality Fund represents atheist's, humanists, and other nonreligious Americans and seeks to increase our participation in the political arena.   Today 24% Americans do not identify with any religion. According to the Pew Research Center, the religiously unaffiliated is now the largest 'religious group' in America, surpassing Evangelical Protestants and Catholics. If you just consider Americans who identify as atheists and agnostics, this community is as large as the Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Orthodox Christin, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, and Hindu communities combined!

This endorsement is in recognition of your support for the issues that are important to the nontheist community - secular government, scientific integrity, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, and civil rights for all Americans.

Although Steve grew up in a Methodist faith, he recognizes the founding father's intention to separate church.  He understands the American right of religious freedom as well as freedom from religion as part of the American pursuit of happiness afforded by the Constitution of the United States of America.