NC Congress candidates grow with Foushee, Watkins bids

November 17, 2021 GMT

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A Democratic U.S. Senate candidate for the past several months and a current Democratic state senator announced separately on Wednesday that they would run for a central North Carolina congressional seat.

Richard Watkins, a Durham scientist and university administrator, and state Sen. Valerie Foushee of Chapel Hill said they are seeking the 6th District seat up for election in 2022.

Longtime 4th District Democratic Rep. David Price, who lives within the new 6th District drawn by the General Assembly earlier this month, announced last month he wasn’t seeking reelection.

Watkins announced in March that he would seek the Senate seat currently held by the retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr. Watkins didn’t mention in his news release why he made the switch to the House race. Campaign finance reports show Watkins had trailed leading Democratic Senate candidates in fundraising.

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Foushee joined the state House in 2013 and switched over later that year to the Senate. She previously led the Orange County commissioners and Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board.

Several other candidates for the heavily Democratic-leaning House seat already have announced, including current state Sen. Wiley Nickel of Wake County and Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam.