Butterfield retains House seat in landslide victory

Nov 6, 2014
In The News

Democratic incumbent G.K. Butterfield was re-elected to the U.S House of Representatives Tuesday in a landslide victory, with nearly three-quarters of the vote.

Butterfield won re-election in the 1st Congressional District of North Carolina—which encompasses part of Durham County, including Duke—with 73 percent of the vote against Republican challenger Arthur Rich. He took 87 percent of the vote in Durham, winning 41,000 of 47,143 eligible ballots in the county, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

“I am gratified to receive a vote of confidence so we can continue to fight to empower families,” Butterfield said in a statement Tuesday night.

A native of eastern North Carolina, Butterfield won his sixth term to the 1st Congressional District—though this is the second time that Durham falls into his constituency. During the congressional redistricting after the 2010 census, the 1st Congressional District expanded to include part of Durham County, which tends to vote heavily Democratic.

Butterfield’s victory margin remains constant with those in the previous years he was up for election. In 2010, he won with 75 percent of the vote.

His platform included increasing taxes for higher-income families and reducing government regulations in the private sector. Butterfield has supported the Affordable Healthcare Act and advocated for capping carbon emissions through the market. He has also consistently supported legalization of same-sex marriage, women’s right to abortion and the absolute right to gun ownership.

Butterfield is currently the chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus and first vice chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittees on Health, Communications and Technology, and Oversight and Investigations. He previously served in the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

Rich, a tax accountant and business consultant, ran on a job development platform, emphasizing his difficult upbringing. His platform included proposals for job creation and an overhaul of the unemployment benefits system. He launched an unsuccessful primary bid to be the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 2012. Rich has never held public office before.

The results of the North Carolina congressional midterm elections Tuesday showed a clear victory for incumbents, with all 10 incumbents up for reelection winning their respective districts. Republicans Mark Walker and David Rouzer and Democrat Alma Adams won in the 6th, 7th and 12th congressional districts, respectively, where there were no incumbents up for election. Of the 13 congressional races, Republicans won 10 and Democrats won three.

According to the North Carolina Board of Elections, midterm voter participation in the state set a record. Approximately 2.71 million voters cast ballots Tuesday compared to 2.7 million voters in 2010, the Board of Elections said, despite changes in voter laws restricting registration. For the first time since 1925, voters were unable to cast straight-ticket ballots.