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Wednesday October 5th

Valerie Foushee holds onto District 23, returning for third term

<p>Valerie Foushee looks at voting updates during the Orange County Democratic Party's election party at Might as Well in Chapel Hill.</p>
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Valerie Foushee looks at voting updates during the Orange County Democratic Party's election party at Might as Well in Chapel Hill.

Valerie Foushee, a Democrat, won re-election for District 23 of the N.C. Senate, defeating opponent Tom Glendinning, a Republican, with 71.18 percent of the votes. This will be Foushee’s third term representing Orange and Chatham counties in the General Assembly. 

Foushee sits on a number of standing committees, including the Education/Higher Education committee, the Health Care committee and the Justice and Public Safety committee.

Foushee said she is committed to investing in education, promoting economic growth, protecting the environment and advocating for equality. She has sponsored bills concerning legislation such as the increase in the prevention and punishment of hate crimes, funding for school counselors and psychologists, health care for pregnant female prisoners and the legalization of medical marijuana.

Bill Rose, a resident of Raleigh, said he recently changed his affiliation to the Democratic Party. 

"In the last seven or eight years, everything I grew up believing has shifted from the Republicans to Democrats in terms of inclusiveness, diversity and welcoming everybody, and I think there are a lot of positive ideas in the party right now that I was drawn to," he said. 

Before the results were called, Nida Allam, third vice chair of the N.C. Democratic Party, said she hoped to see Gov. Roy Cooper's veto power secured by the election. 

"We want to elect officials who represent a fair divide in the General Assembly," she said.

Tim Longest, a Chapel Hill resident and supporter of the Orange County Democrats, said he has been impressed with the energy of voters and volunteers. 

"I do think the work’s only beginning, no matter what happens tonight," he said. "So while I’m hopeful, I know that there’s a long road ahead for Democrats.”

In 2016, Foushee won re-election by approximately 42,000 votes against Mary Lopez Carter. She first served in the legislature in 2012 as a representative in the House for District 50. Before serving in the Senate, she served in the state House of Representatives. Previously, she served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners, the All State School Board and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education. 

Orange County residents are excited to see her victory.

“Senator Foushee is an incredible leader and Democrat in the legislature who represents Orange County incredibly well," said Wayne Goodwin, chairperson of N.C. Democrats. "She’s a rising star in the Democratic Party and in legislative politics. I’m very excited about what tonight and the future holds for her.” 

Olivia Slagle and Marin Wolf contributed reporting.

@henryhaney17

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