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Eric Blankenburg wins Republican primary for District 4 to face Valerie Foushee in November

Voting booths await voters inside First Baptist Church on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

According to unofficial primary election results, Eric Blankenburg won the Republican primary election for U.S. Congressional District 4, which includes Orange County, defeating Mahesh Ganorkar.

He will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Valerie Foushee, who currently holds the seat, in November.

Blankenburg received about 70 percent of votes in the Republican primary election, with 72 percent of precincts reporting. 

He has no experience in governmental offices but has 30 years of experience in the technology industry. Blankenburg also served in the U.S. Air Force.

According to his campaign website, Blankenburg’s priorities include bringing outsourced jobs in manufacturing and technology back to the United States, simplifying the tax code, improving the education system and infrastructure, and creating a “green future.” 

Blankenburg also has expressed support for increasing border security, keeping abortion policy in the hands of state legislatures, revitalizing cities and rural areas, and protecting the right to own firearms.

Foushee took office in 2023 after defeating Republican candidate Courtney Geels in the 2022 midterm election. Foushee was the first woman and Black person to represent the district. She replaced David E. Price, who held the office since 1997.

North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation will likely begin to see changes in its makeup following Tuesday’s primaries.

The Republican-controlled N.C. General Assembly redrew congressional districts in 2023. The delegation currently includes seven Democrats and seven Republicans. These new maps will likely change that makeup to include four Democrats and 10 Republicans. 

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The N.C. General Assembly passed its new congressional maps on Oct. 25 following a court decision that gave legislators full power over the process.

Under the new maps, District 4 includes all of Orange and Durham counties and portions of Chatham and Wake counties. 

Because of this redistricting, five of the 14 incumbents did not run for another term. U.S. Reps. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C. 14th), Kathy Manning (D-N.C. 6th) and Wiley Nickel (D-N.C. 13th) did not pursue reelection in districts now drawn in ways that tilt toward Republicans. Instead of pursuing a congressional seat, Jackson sought the Democratic candidacy for North Carolina attorney general — which he won by around 55 percent with 80 percent of precincts reporting.

U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop (R-N.C. 8th) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C. 10th) also did not seek reelection bids. Bishop stepped down to run as the sole Republican candidate for attorney general.


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Emmy Martin

Emmy Martin is the 2023-24 editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as the DTH's city & state editor and summer managing editor. Emmy is a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and information science. 

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