State Sen. Don Davis has won the Democratic nomination for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in a bid to take over retiring Rep. G.K. Butterfield’s seat, though it's been reconfigured somewhat due to redistricting.
Davis, an Air Force veteran, emerged from a field with three other competitors and will face a competitive general election race in November. The district, once solidly blue, continues to lean Democratic after a redistricting battle but isn’t as safe as it once was.
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He said he plans to spend his time in Congress focusing on rural infrastructure and economic support.
“Plainly, eastern North Carolina is in dire straits. Despite North Carolina as a whole gaining population and gaining an additional Congressional seat, District 1 was the only district that lost population,” Davis said. “Our communities are facing a crisis on many fronts and we need to address the economic, educational, and healthcare disparities head-on."
Butterfield endorsed Davis over former state Sen. Erica Smith, a more progressive primary opponent whom Butterfield saw as less likely to win a general election.
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"At the end of the day, this is about which Democrat would be the most formidable candidate against Sandy Smith if she were to be the Republican nominee, and I've come to the conclusion that Don Davis will be very competitive in the general election, more competitive than Erica Smith would be," Butterfield told local news outlet WRAL last month.