Raleigh (NC State Capitol) considers Asheville and all of Buncombe County to be Western NC because they don't think anything exists West of the Buncombe County line.
Years ago, the state rep for the area I grew up in once commented to my dad that some high up big wig politician in the state capital asked what area he represented, when he said where the fool said, "I thought that was in TN" and the guy was serious.
The rep said it explained a lot. It really hasn't changed all that much. The only time Raleigh notices western NC is to decide they need to pay more taxes.