N&O Approvals for Congress in Triangle Area Races
The race to win North Carolina’s 13th congressional district is tight, but when it comes to who is the best candidate, it’s no contest.
Democratic Senator Wiley Nickel is well ahead of Republican Bo Hines in qualifications and skills. More importantly, Nickel defends democracy while Hines defends former President Donald Trump and his lies about a stolen presidential election in 2020.
That’s all voters should know who is best suited to represent the district that includes southern Wake County, all of Johnston County, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties. We strongly support Willey Nickel.
At a time of extreme gerrymandering, the 13th arrondissement stood out for its remarkable political balance. It includes suburbs and farmland, new communities and old towns, and red and blue voting patterns. Such a district calls for a representative centered on the common good and common needs.
As a state senator, Wiley Nickel, 46, has advocated for Medicaid expansion, increased funding for public schools, voting rights, environmental protections and improvements to the insurance program – inadequate state unemployment. North Carolina needs a congressman with those priorities.
Hines, 27, is said to be the youngest member of Congress and is sadly similar in age to disgraced North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was elected at 25. Like Cawthorn, Hines is a MAGA warrior whose first loyalty is to Trump. and Trumpism.
Hines is too inexperienced, erratic and extreme to represent a district nearly evenly balanced between red and blue voters. It is essential that voters who know the difference between extremism and competent representation come out and vote for Wiley Nickel.
Despite being adjacent to the hotly contested 13th congressional district, the 2nd congressional district offers no drama as to the outcome. Democratic incumbent Deborah Ross is almost certain to defeat her Republican challenger Christine Villaverde in this blue district. This race is so low-key that Ross said in a recent interview that she has never met Villaverde, a political newcomer and former police officer. Villaverde is anti-abortion, wants lower taxes and supports former President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Despite her safe neighborhood, Ross, a former state representative, reached out to Republicans during her first term in Congress. She wants to show that cooperation on mutual concerns is still possible in Washington. She understands that Republicans are also her constituents. “I try to reflect my constituents and work across the aisle,” she said.
While willing to cooperate with Republicans where she can, Ross, former leader of the ACLU of North Carolina, backs a progressive agenda that includes protecting abortion rights and voting rights and supporting clean energy and comprehensive immigration reform. We strongly recommend the re-election of Deborah Ross.
Replacing David Price requires someone who demands the same respect. Valérie Foushee is the right woman for the job. His Republican opponent, Courtney Geels, an election denieris not.
Foushee is a true product of Orange County, and those roots are evident in every election she has won over the past two decades. She served on the School Board of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Commissioners and served in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly. But what really stands out is how she did it all without bravado.
“I’ve never seen anyone care less about building their ‘brand’ than Valerie Foushee, because their brand is what it does for you,” Chatham County MP Robert Reives tells us.
We did not endorse Foushee in the primary race, in part because of spending on his behalf by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a group that has previously been criticized for Islamophobic sentiments. Nida Allam, one of Foushee’s main opponents in this race, is Muslim.
At the general election, we recommend Valerie Fouchee.
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The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer editorial boards combined in 2019 to provide our readers with more comprehensive and diverse opinion content about North Carolina. The editorial board operates independently of the Charlotte and Raleigh newsrooms and does not influence the work of the reporting and editorial teams. The combined board is led by NC Opinion Editor Peter St. Onge, who is joined in Raleigh by Associate Opinion Editor Ned Barnett and Opinion Writer Sara Pequeño and in Charlotte by Cartoonist Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Siers and opinion writer Paige Masten. Board members also include Robyn Tomlin, vice president of McClatchy, Local News, Rana Cash, editor of Observer, Bill Church, editor of News & Observer, and Barry Saunders, longtime columnist. from News & Observer. For questions about the board or our editorials, email [email protected]