RALEIGH, NC ( Associated Press) — The retirements of two veteran Democratic congressmen in North Carolina this year have opened the way for strong primaries within their party as Democrats, Republicans, or both, winning one of the state’s 14 U.S. House districts. Except everyone is contesting the elections on Tuesday.
At stake is the November general election and eventually a shot at Capitol Hill. With this election cycle in line, North Carolina chooses another House seat in January — its 14th — due to U.S. Census-documented population growth.
In the Fourth Congressional District, where Rep. David Price is off the ballot Eight Democrats are seeking his Triangle constituency seat for the first time since 1986. and four Democrat Representatives G.K. Rural North East is running for the 1st District seat held since 2004 by Butterfield, who opted not to seek re-election.
The top competitors in fourth are Chapel Hill State Sen. Valerie Fauci, Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam and former “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken. State Sen. Don Davis and former Sen. Erica Smith are leading candidates in District 1.
Of the 11 office-bearers seeking re-election, seven have primaries on Tuesday.
Along with seven other GOP rivals — the current member facing the strongest in-party challenge — Hill is first-time Representative Madison Cawthorne in the 11th district. forced political errors Cawthorne has threatened a return to Congress, where the 26-year-old is a staunch supporter of outspoken former President Donald Trump.
Other Republican incumbents facing the primary are Representative Greg Murphy in the Third District; Virginia Foxx in 5th place; 7th David Roger; Richard Hudson in 9th; and Patrick McHenry in 10th. Democratic Rep. Alma Adams also has a primary in 12th.
In primaries with large fields, the top vote getter must receive more than 30% of the ballot to avoid the July 26 runoff with a second-place finisher.
In the Fourth District, featuring highly liberal Durham and Orange counties, the Democratic primary winner should have an advantage in November. Courtney Gayle and Robert Thomas are seeking the GOP nomination.
The First District, which has been considered reliably Democratic for decades, is now underfunded, and could be highly competitive in a strong Republican year. GOP primary candidates include 2020 candidate Sandy Smith and Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson.
The fourth and first Democratic primaries included contests between the founding party and its more liberal wing. Establishment-favored candidates – Fauci and Davis – have benefited from large TV advertising spend and mailers to Super PACs.
Protect Our Future, a Super PAC backed by a cryptocurrency billionaire, has spent $1 million backing Fauci, according to campaign filings.
Campaign finance reports show that the United Democracy Project, an independent spending group affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has spent approximately $2.4 million to aid Davis and about $2.1 million to support Faushi. The AIPAC Political Action Committee contributed more than $430,000 to Fauci’s campaign, reports The News and Observer of Raleigh.
Some Democrats are angry about AIPAC’s participation in both races because the group also supports Republican candidates, with the state Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus rescinding Fauci’s support.
Allam, the first Muslim woman elected to office in North Carolina, is a pro-Palestinian. He is supported by American censors Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
In the final days of the campaign, Aiken lamented the money left out in the race, saying he had “lost respect” for Fauci. His campaign defended AIPAC support.
Although majoring in music, theater and television, Aiken is no stranger to politics, winning the 2014 Democratic primary for Congress in another central North Carolina district before losing to Republican incumbent Renee Elmers. November’s victory would make Aiken the South’s first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress.
Davis, a former Air Force officer and small-town mayor, won Butterfield’s endorsement last month. Butterfield cited Davis’s legislative experience and said he was “ready to fight for the Democratic agenda of empowering America’s families and communities.”
Smith, who has Warren’s backing, ran unsuccessfully for the 2020 US Senate nomination. Smith’s campaign has stated that Davis’ voting record in the General Assembly has been very liberal, especially on abortion rights.
Elsewhere, Elmers is seeking a Capitol Hill return to the eight-candidate GOP primary in the open 13th district. While Elmers was the first congresswoman to endorse Trump for the presidency in 2016, she lost a re-election bid that year. And in the 13th the support of the former president went to Bo Hines, 26, a former NC State University football player and graduate of Wake Forest Law School, who had previously announced plans to run elsewhere in the state before settling on the 13th.
The Club for Growth Action Super PAC has spent money to support Hines and oppose the candidacy of Smithfield Attorney Kelly Doughty. Daughtry has self-financed his campaign, lending more than $2.9 million to his political committee. At least two outside groups are opposing Hines. Elmers has raised very little. The 13th five-man Democratic primary includes State Sen. Willie Nickel and former Sen. Sam Sarsi, both from Wake County.