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Meet the candidates running in the 2022 midterm election to represent Orange County


From left to right: Courtney Geels, Renee Price, Landon Woods, Valerie Foushee, Charles Lopez and Graig Meyer. Photos courtesy of Geels, Woods, Foushee, Lopez and by DTH/Saurya Acharya and Anna Connors.

Several offices representing Orange County are up for grabs in the 2022 midterm general election, including in the U.S. House of Representatives and the North Carolina General Assembly. 

Here are the races to keep an eye on that will take place in November.

U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. District 4

N.C. Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-Chatham, Orange, won a hard-fought Democratic primary in May. She will face Courtney Geels, a nurse who won the Republican primary, for the seat currently held by retiring Rep. David Price, D-N.C.

District four covers Orange, Durham, Alamance, Person and Granville counties.

Foushee has served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners and in the N.C. House of Representatives. She currently serves in the N.C. Senate. 

Foushee hopes to remove barriers for women seeking an abortion, strengthen anti-discrimination laws and protect voting rights. She said the recent downturn in the economy is at the top of her list of priorities.

“At a time when inflation is where it is, the impending recession, those things are more prevalent now among all Americans,” Foushee said. “That’s what’s on the minds of people, that’s what people are talking about at their kitchen tables, at the barber shops.”

Geels' platform is centered around the idea that government should not interfere with one’s daily life and includes restricting abortion, implementing stricter voter ID laws and protecting the right to own firearms.

She said she feels confident in her chances at winning the seat despite the district being dominated by Democrats. Geels said she wants to use the seat to advocate for constituents.

“Anybody that meets me, most of them are like, ‘You seem really normal,’” Geels said. “I’m a very normal person that wants to advocate for very normal people.”

N.C. House of Representatives District 50

District 50 covers north and west Orange County and Caswell County, and Renée Price and Charles Lopez will be facing off for the seat.

Price, the current chair of the Orange County BOCC, won her Democratic primary in May against Matt Hughes. 

Price has been a member of the BOCC since 2012 and has served on the executive committee for the N.C. Democratic Party. She aims to promote public school funding, address biases in the criminal justice system and advocate for affordable housing and universal broadband access.

“My whole focus, really, is justice,” Price said. “Not just in the courtroom, in general, humanity justice. I hope that my legacy does reflect that.”

Lopez, the Republican running for District 50, is an HR manager at a commercial landscaping company and began his career as a school administrator. Lopez was unopposed in seeking the Republican nomination for the position.

His policy goals center around reducing government intervention in business, promoting school choice and creating jobs for non-affluent counties.

Lopez did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Tar Heel. However, in a previous interview with the DTH, he said that his role as a father and husband inspired him to be a voice for conservative values. He also said that he values being a dad, husband and community-driven person.

N.C. Senate District 23

N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, Caswell, won his Democratic primary in May to succeed Foushee as the N.C. Senator for District 23. He will be facing Republican candidate Landon Woods, a solar energy business owner from Caswell County, in the November general election.

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District 23, which was recently redistricted, includes all of Orange, Caswell and Person counties.

Meyer has served in the N.C. House since 2013, and his policy platform includes protecting women’s access to abortion, enforcing non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ+ community and the expansion of Medicaid.

Meyer said North Carolina’s politicians must come together to solve the state’s biggest challenges, including climate change, education issues and healthcare equity.

“My experience is that it is possible to work with Republicans, either in places where you have shared values — for instance, on tackling our mental health crisis — or in places where you want the same thing, even if it comes from a place where your values are slightly different, like the way we’ve found compromise on criminal justice reform,” he said.

Woods' top three policy priorities are reducing regulations on businesses, educating a well-prepared workforce and protecting individual liberties.

Woods did not respond to requests for comment from the DTH. However, in a previous interview with the DTH, he said he will back legislation that brings jobs to the area and lowers taxes on the working class.


@DTHCityState |

Ethan E. Horton

Ethan E. Horton is the 2023-24 city & state editor at The Daily Tar Heel. He has previously served as a city & state assistant editor and as the 2023 summer managing editor. Ethan is a senior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and political science, with a minor in history.