GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – One of the few Congressional districts that Republicans failed to flip was in Greensboro, where Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning declared victory in her race for a second term in the 6th Congressional District.
Manning turned back Republican challenger Christian Castelli, a retired Army officer and business owner from Southern Pines, who was in his first election, dominating in Guilford County to earn 54.11% of the vote, beating Castelli’s 44.85%. Libertarian Thomas Watercott of Greensboro had 1.05%. The results include 80% of precincts but are neither official nor final.
“I’m proud to be re-elected to continue representing North Carolina’s Sixth Congressional District in Congress,” Manning said in a statement. “I ran for office to fight for the issues that are impacting families across the Triad and throughout my first term, I’ve worked to lower costs, expand educational opportunities, make health care more affordable, and protect Social Security and reproductive rights.
“Representing you is one of the greatest honors of my life. In my second term, I’ll continue to carry your stories with me and fight every day to make the Triad a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”
She told a gathered throng in downtown Greensboro that she has fixed priorities for her second term: “Continue to lower health care costs, make education more affordable, make communities safer, mental health issues, voting rights… protect Social Security and Medicare,” she said.
She also spoke out about inclusion and against hate in the country. “We have a growing problem in this country of extremism,” she said. “We need to call out lies, we need to call out racism. The words of hate and violence are unacceptable.”
Republicans had thought they might have a shot in the district because it includes not only all of Guilford County but also all of Rockingham County, most of Caswell County and less of the city of Winston-Salem than it did when Manning took 62.3% of the vote in 2020.
North Carolinians elected 14 members to Congress, an increase of one because of the 2020 census, and the parties each won seven seats, with the Democrats picking up the new seat in the 14th District. The GOP have an 8-5 edge currently.
The races became more complex because two veteran Democrats retired, 1st District Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson) and 4th District Rep. David Price (D-Durham), and controversial Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville), was ousted in the 11th District primary.
The 13th District was considered a toss-up, but state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) held off newcomer Bo Hines (R-Fuquay-Varina), who was backed by former President Donald Trump and Cawthorn, in what had proven to be one of the most expensive House races in the country. Nickel earned 51.3% of the vote to Hines’ 43.7%.
Manning and Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk), who has represented the 5th District for 16 years, led a romp by incumbents in districts that make up the Triad. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), who left the 9th District to run in the 8th, and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Moore County), who left the 8th to run in the 9th, both won easily.
In the 4th District, which now includes Alamance County, Price’s seat went to state Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Durham), who dominated GOP newcomer Courtney Geels, a nurse from Durham, by a 2-1 margin.
State Sen. Don Davis (D-Snow Hill) won to succeed Butterfield in the 1st District, and two incumbent Democrats, Alma Adams (D-Mecklenburg) won in the 12th and Deborah Ross (D-Wake) in the 2nd, also won easily. Republican incumbents Greg Murphy (R-Greenville) in the 3rd and Greg Rouzer (R-Wilmington) in the 7th did as well.
State Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Flat Rock), who knocked off Cawthorn in the 11th, beat out two challengers by getting 54% of the vote, and the new 14th seat on the west side of Charlotte went to state Sen. Jeff Jackson, who also benefitted from his aborted bid for the open U.S. Senate seat before stepping out of Cheri Beasley’s path to that nomination. Jackson beat Pat Harrigan of Catawba.
Nickel nosed out Hines despite the influence on behalf of Hines from Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Cawthorn and Senate nominee Ted Budd, among others.
Hines, a native of Gaston County who played football at NC State before transferring to Yale and eventually attending Wake Forest law school, had filed to run in two other districts before the electoral maps were settled.
Traditional campaigns in the 6th
Castelli, who received campaign trail support from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) and other top Republicans in the state, tried to gain ground by pushing most of the basic issues that Republican candidates have pursued: the economy, President Joe Biden and complaints about spending and crime.
He took 67% of the votes in Rockingham County and 60% in Caswell County.
Manning stood on her long connection to Greensboro and her support for popular measures signed by Biden, including the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the inflation reduction act and gun reform.
She also has been an outspoken supporter of women’s health issues. In July – after the Supreme Court overturned abortion rights granted by Roe v. Wade and included language that caused concern about additional bans on rights – she authored a bill to guarantee access to birth control, which passed the House despite “no” votes from all GOP representatives from North Carolina. The Senate has not taken it up.
Castelli was one of several Republicans in North Carolina who adjusted the issues pages of their websites after their nominations in May and the Supreme Court’s ruling in June on Roe v. Wade to reduce the presence of pro-life positions they had portrayed earlier. He called the issue “a distraction.”
An attorney for Castelli wrote in a complaint letter about Manning’s TV ads that Castelli does not agree with Manning’s support for “abortion on demand at all times during pregnancy, with no limitations, Mr. Castelli has consistently stated that abortion should be legal in certain circumstances.” He contradicted that somewhat in a follow-up interview.
Manning told WGHP that she supports the limitations for abortion rights that had been in place before SCOTUS acted. “The standard in Roe, I believe, in the first trimester allows a woman the freedom to make her own reproductive decisions,” she said. “After that, there are different factors that fall into place.” She said restrictions should revolve around “the viability” of the fetus.
Among nominees in the Triad, Budd, Foxx, Bishop and Hudson all have denied that Biden was duly elected in 2020, siding with Trump’s unfounded lies. Only Castelli, who is in his first election, has no publicly stated opinion on that issue except to say he didn’t view the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to meet his definition of the word “insurrection.”
Piedmont Triad district winners
4th District (Alamance, along with Orange, Durham, Granville and a speck of Person counties): State Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Hillsborough).
5th District (Stokes, Surry, Davie, Yadkin, Wilkes, Alleghany and most of Forsyth counties et al): Incumbent Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk).
6th District (Guilford, Rockingham, most of Caswell and some of Forsyth counties): Incumbent Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro).
8th District (Davidson, Montgomery counties et al): Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte).
9th District (Randolph County et al): Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Moore County).
The other winners
1st District: Don Davis (D-Snow Hill).
2nd District: Incumbent Rep. Deborah Ross (D-Raleigh).
3rd District: Incumbent Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Greenville).
7th District: Incumbent Rep. David Rouzer (R-Wilmington).
10th District: Incumbent Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Statesville).
11th District: state Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Flat Rock).
12th District: Incumbent Rep. Alma Adams (D-Charlotte).
13th District: State Sen. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary)
14th District: State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte).