Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13 District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel defeats four other candidates in North Carolina’s 13th District Democratic primary

Wiley Nickel won the May 17 Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District. Five candidates were on the ballot. Incumbent Rep. Ted Budd (R) announced on April 28, 2021, that he would not seek re-election and instead run for U.S. Senate.

Nickel had served in the North Carolina State Senate representing District 16 since 2019. He also worked as a criminal defense attorney. Before his election to public office, Nickel worked in several district attorney offices and in the White House as advance staff for former President Barack Obama (D). Nickel described his candidacy, saying, “I’ve seen the power of a nation’s hope. I’ve also seen the hard work it takes to make real change. I’m proud to be running on my strong record of work on climate solutions, wealth inequality, and human rights as a North Carolina State Senator.”

Jamie Campbell Bowles (D), Nathan Click (D), Denton Lee (D), Sam Searcy (D) also ran.

The district lines of North Carolina’s 13th changed substantially after redistricting, with the new district containing none of the old 13th district. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old 13th district had an R+38 lean, while the new district has an R+3 lean.

The News & Observer’s Danielle Battaglia described the new district, saying, “Only one district of North Carolina’s congressional map is a swing district, one that’s considered viable for either a Republican or Democrat to win. It’s the 13th Congressional District, and it encompasses all of Johnston County, the southern portion of Wake County, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties.”

Nickel will face Bo Hines (R) in the November general election. As of May 2022, three independent outlets rated the 2022 general election as a Toss-up.