Foushee wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District

State Sen. Valerie Foushee defeated Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, Clay Aiken, and five other candidates to win the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s open 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022.

Incumbent Rep. David Price (D)—first elected in 1986, defeated in 1994, and re-elected in 1996—did not seek re-election. This is the first year the 4th District had been open since Rep. Nick Galifianakis (D) left office in 1972, though district lines have changed due to redistricting.

Foushee was first appointed to the North Carolina Senate in 2013 after serving in the state House. Before that, Foushee served on the Orange County Board of Commissioners from 2004 to 2012 and had been a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Foushee emphasized her experience during the primary, saying “she has stood up to radical Republicans when they have attacked a woman’s right to choose, targeted our immigrant communities, and attempted to strip North Carolinians of their voting rights.”

The Assembly‘s Jeffrey Billman said that, along with satellite spending, “Including what candidates have raised themselves, the contest is the most expensive Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina history.”

Foushee and Allam both raised over $800,000 as of April 27. Additionally, eight organizations contributed $3,828,804 in satellite spending, according to Open Secrets. Most of the satellite spending—90%—went toward supporting Foushee with the remaining 10% supporting Allam.

The largest satellite spenders were:

  • United Democracy Project: an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The group spent $2,128,194 supporting Foushee.
  • Protect Our Future PAC: a political action committee funded by Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange. The group spent $1,040,133 supporting Foushee.
  • Working Families Party: a spending arm of the political party by the same name. The group spent $310,640 supporting Allam.

Following redistricting, the 4th District was drawn to include portions of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. As of 2022, the district had the largest percentage of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 (27%) and the largest percentage with a bachelor’s degree (52%) in North Carolina. Three independent race forecasters rated the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.