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Republican Sandy Smith, Democrat Don Davis compete for House seat in North Carolina's 1st District

The incumbent, Democrat G.K. Butterfield, is retiring after 18 years in office.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — There are just 19 days to go until the midterm elections, which will determine which party controls Congress. One key local race involves an open seat in North Carolina's 1st Congressional District.

Since 2004, Democrat G.K. Butterfield has represented NC-01, which includes 19 counties in the northeast part of the Tar Heal state, directly below the Virginia state line.

With Butterfield retiring, NC-01 is an open seat and Republicans hope to flip it from blue to red.

Republican candidate Sandy Smith and Democrat Don Davis are running to succeed Butterfield.

Smith, who is a business executive and entrepreneur, lost to Butterfield in 2020, 54% to 45%. 

"And I was the first Republican to swing this district 25 points," said Smith. "It was rated a D-30 district, and we think actually, we question some of the results because there were some shenanigans that happened even here in North Carolina."

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Smith continued: "And I'm not a quitter. And I know the folks need a real America First candidate. And that's why I continued to fight on and decided to re-run in 2022, to finish the job and take the district back."

Davis is an Air Force veteran, minister, former mayor and current state senator.

"This is about this election, the legacy of leadership that eastern North Carolina is accustomed to," he said. "And I truly believe that I am part of the legacy of leadership. And this is, too, about the future of eastern North Carolina. Which direction are we going to go? And we must stay in this fight for our kids. We must stay in this fight for better health, and we must stay in this fight for good-paying American jobs right here in North Carolina."

Election forecaster Sabato's Crystal Ball rates NC-01 as leaning Democratic.

In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump 53% to 45% in the district.

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