Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrat Wiley Nickel upends Trump-backed Bo Hines in North Carolina

Wiley Nickel speaking behind a lectern with an NC Democrats logo behind him

North Carolina state Sen. Wiley Nickel at an event in May. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel beat out Republican political newcomer Bo Hines in the race to represent one of North Carolina's most interesting congressional districts, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Nickel’s narrow victory in a district that spans suburban and rural areas gives Democrats something to celebrate on a night when they lost the state's U.S. Senate race.

  • Democrats will hold seven of North Carolina’s 14 U.S. House seats; just two years ago, Republicans had a 10-3 edge in the state’s delegation.

The intrigue: Nickel, who was elected to the state Senate in 2018's blue wave, has sought to brand himself as a moderate in an attempt to pull the district's moderate voters, despite the fact that he has repeatedly voted to the left of his fellow Democrats in the chamber. 

  • Hines, 27, has often been compared to disgraced Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who lost his primary in May after a slew of scandals. Hines has repeatedly rejected that comparison. 
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