Per unofficial results, North Carolina Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Caswell, Orange) has won the 2022 midterm election for the District 23 seat in the North Carolina Senate.
He defeated Republican opponent Landon Woods and will replace Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Chatham, Orange) in January 2023.
Meyer held 67.1 percent of total vote at 59,162 total vote. Woods held 32.9 percent at 29,022 total votes. Meyer won Orange County while Woods won both Caldwell and Person counties.
Meyer, who has worked in the state legislature since 2013, supports helping citizens with student debt, reducing carbon emissions and ending partisan gerrymandering to expand voting access. He also sponsored the Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act.
"I'm very honored to have won reelection and won election to this new seat in the North Carolina Senate," he said. "I'm proud of the work that I've done for Orange County and Caswell County. I'm looking forward to serving them in this new way and I'm looking forward to serving Person county as well."
He said required work in North Carolina is the same as it's been for the past five years. The state needs to continue to work toward building an economy that works for every family, an education system that prepares all children for the future and an approach to climate change that ensure a world that future generations can enjoy, he said.
Meyer added that he worked with kids in Chapel Hill schools for 16 years and he thinks about the experience every day in his service. He was most touched by these students, their families and all of their support, he said.
"I continue to be motivated by trying to make North Carolina the best place it can possibly be for folks like the ones that I worked with," he said.
Penny Rich, who ran for Register of Deeds in Orange County congratulated Meyer, calling him a friend and referring to him by the title of "Senator." The National Democratic Redistricting Committee said he works to preserve and protect democracy in North Carolina.
Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, which endorsed Meyer in the the 2022 midterm election, also congratulated him on Twitter. They said it has never been more important to protect reproductive rights and health for North Carolinians.
Meyer's platform on reproductive rights states women should have control over their own health care decisions. As a representative, Meyer has voted against every Republican bill that would restrict abortion in the N.C. General Assembly.
He also strives for improvement of public schools to better serve students who are most likely to struggle. Extended school time and additional funding are two things he has fought for in the legislature.
Meyer's platform also said educators are a critical point in improving the educational system and should be paid above the national average.
“Education is really big," Alvino Jones, 49, a Chapel Hill resident, said. “We, you know, are seeing a lot of a drop within students even having an interest in school. Some of them are there, but they’re not learning as much as they should.”
While Woods believes every child should have the opportunity for an education — which is in line with Meyer's platform — he is for banning abortion with a few exceptions, according to a questionnaire sent out by the News & Observer.
Still, Meyer said he appreciates that Woods ran a positive campaign, as the two pledged to do.
"I look forward to working with him to try and figure out how to support Senate District 23," he said.
Caroline Kelly contributed reporting to this story.
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