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Monday November 28th

What Orange County voters need to know about the primary winners for the 2022 midterm elections

The East Franklin voting precinct pictured on Election Day, Nov. 2, 2021. "Vote Here" signs were placed along the walkway to guide voters to the entrance of the precinct.
Buy Photos The East Franklin voting precinct pictured on Election Day, Nov. 2, 2021. "Vote Here" signs were placed along the walkway to guide voters to the entrance of the precinct.

The 2022 midterm elections are less than four months away, and races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and the N.C. General Assembly are all without incumbents for Orange County voters.

With positions up for grabs for the first time in several elections, here are the races to pay attention to.

U.S. Senate

In what is projected to be one of the closest U.S. Senate races in the country, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., will be facing off against former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. 

Both won their primaries by wide margins and will run for the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who has served in the Senate since 2005.

Beasley’s most important issues include reducing healthcare costs through expanding the Affordable Care Act, preserving abortion rights, implementing paid family leave, tackling climate change and protecting the right to vote.

“As a former judge, a wife and a mother of twin sons who are in college now, I’ve seen the way politicians like Congressman Budd have left North Carolinians behind, especially our young people, and I’m running for U.S. Senate to stand up to Washington and corporations to put people first,” Beasley said in an email to The Daily Tar Heel.

Budd, who has represented much of North Carolina’s rural piedmont in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2017, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump early in the Republican primary.

Budd owns a multi-million dollar gun store in Rural Hall, N.C. and is a supporter of the Second Amendment. He also hopes to restrict abortion, allow school choice and strengthen law enforcement.

Budd’s campaign did not respond to the DTH's request for comment.

U.S. House of Representatives, District 4

N.C. Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-Chatham, Orange, will be running against Republican Courtney Geels for the vacated House seat held by retiring Rep. David Price, D-N.C. Price has held the seat since 1997.

Geels, a nurse, said her top policy goal was to reduce the power of the federal government. Some of her other policy priorities are implementing school choice through a universal voucher system, improving the economy and supporting law enforcement, according to her website.

Geels said her slogan — truth, justice and unity — is a set of inseparable ideals. To have unity, she said, you must have the other two.

“In the past two to three years, a lot of people have felt like they don't really know what's true,” Geels said. “They have to look at 50 different kinds of media outlets to really know what the truth on a certain subject is. How can you unify a country that feels like they don't have what is true?”

Geels has events planned in Durham, Hillsborough and Burlington in the coming weeks.

Foushee has held a seat in the N.C. Senate since 2013, and previously was a member of the N.C. House, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board and the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.

Her policy goals include eliminating systemic racism from the criminal justice system, preventing gerrymandering and implementing a Medicare for All system.

Foushee did not respond to a request for comment, but in a previous interview with the DTH, she said she would stand up for civil rights, protect future generations from the impacts of climate change and ensure equity.

N.C. Senate, District 23

N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Caswell, Orange, is running for the seat vacated by Foushee and will be facing Landon Woods, a Republican small business owner.

At 29, Woods owns a solar energy business that operates in four states. He said he wants to reduce government spending and cut taxes, but also fund initiatives for green energy and innovative education.

“It’s really about the community, it’s about giving back,” Woods said. “Being someone who has the drive and initiative to start a business and yet not turn into a greedy corporate business owner, I believe people will see through the lines and respond to that well.”

Meyer has served in the N.C. House since 2013. He said hopes to work towards legalizing marijuana, combating climate change and protecting the right to abortion.

Meyer said the only way to protect abortion access in the state after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson is to ensure Republicans do not gain a veto-proof supermajority in the General Assembly.

“Ultimately, what we need is for pro-choice legislators to get enough seats in the General Assembly that we can enact strong reproductive health legislation in North Carolina and not constantly be under the threat of losing the right,” Meyer said.

N.C. House of Representatives, District 50

Renée Price, the chairperson of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, is running against Republican Charles Lopez, a human resources manager at a local landscaping company, for Meyer’s current seat.

Price was first elected to the BOCC in 2012 and became chairperson in 2020. Her policy goals include protecting voting rights, properly funding public school systems and combating racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

“I hate to say it, but since the founding of this country, people have been targeted just for being Black or being a person of color,” Price said.

Lopez’s most important issues are promoting school choice, improving election integrity, creating jobs and reducing government regulation on businesses.

Lopez said he is running for the N.C. House to restore trust and a community feel to the politician-voter relationship.

“I’m just a normal guy trying to do some awesome things,” Lopez said. “I see the need in the community for one who builds bridges to cross the party line and do some good with Democrats, independents, liberals.”

@ethanehorton1

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Geels' top policy priorities included enforcing stricter voter ID laws and restricting abortion. While these things are part of her platform, she said her top priorities focus on improving the economy and supporting law enforcement. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.

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