N.C. Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Chatham, Orange) has defeated Republican candidate Courtney Geels and will represent the 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
She has collected about 67 percent of votes cast in the election as of 11:06 p.m.
“I am humbled and honored that the voters of NC-04 have put their faith and trust in me to represent them in Congress," Foushee said in a Tweet on Tuesday. "I look forward to going to Washington and delivering results for the (people) of this district. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and worked on my behalf."
The 4th Congressional District of N.C. consists of Alamance, Orange, Durham, Person and Granville counties, as well as a portion of northeastern Caswell County.
She will be the first woman to represent the district and will be its first Black representative, replacing U.S. Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C. 4th). Price has held the office since 1997 and announced his retirement earlier this year.
“For decades, (Foushee) has worked to ensure that her community has equal access to resources that put them on the path to success,” the NC Democratic Party said in a Tweet.
Foushee plans to bring equity to all communities by protecting voting rights and fighting against systemic racism in U.S. Congress, according to her website.
“Our democracy hinges on our right to vote, and we should be giving and facilitating better access to our citizens to get that accomplished, rather than making it difficult for people to exercise that right,” she told The Daily Tar Heel.
One of Foushee’s top priorities in Congress is to bring economic relief to Americans, particularly working families, according to her website.
She said she plans to support legislation to ensure fair wages, pass the Building Our Opportunities to Survive and Thrive Act to provide relief for low- and moderate-income households with a new tax credit, and advocate to make the Child Tax Credit permanent.
“Given where we are with the economy, I think, at the top of everybody’s list now is the economy, and what to do to bring relief to people who are really struggling at a time when inflation is where it is,” she told The Daily Tar Heel.
Another top priority for Foushee will be to pass the Green New Deal into law, according to her website.
She also said she believes Congress should codify Roe v. Wade into law.
For Carrboro voter Stephen Salisbury, climate change and healthcare access were important issues on the ballot.
“I think without a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House, we have no chance of codifying Roe or advancing clean energy initiatives at a national level,” he said.
Foushee is an Orange County native who served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board and the Orange County Board of Commissioners prior to her time in the N.C. House and N.C. Senate.
“I know Valerie Foushee personally, and I know that she’s a good person. And I know that she’s gonna try to do the right thing,” Wayne Mitchell, a 40-year-old voter from Chapel Hill, said. “A lot of things are now about politics, but I grew up with her and her kids. I went to school with them, and their family.”
Foushee will begin her two-year term in the U.S. House on Jan. 3.
Bailey White and Gowri Abhinanda contributed reporting to this story.
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