Democrat Don Davis defeated Republican Sandy Smith in North Carolina's 1st Congressional District.
The 1st District is located in the northeastern region of the state.
Trump-endorsed Smith failed to flip the open seat to Republican control.
Democratic state Sen. Don Davis defeated Republican Sandy Smith in North Carolina's 1st Congressional District.
Polls closed in the state at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who is serving his ninth term in the US House, will retire at the end of this term, leaving the seat vacant.
North Carolina's 1st Congressional District candidates
Davis, first elected to North Carolina's State Senate in 2008, currently represents the state's 5th Senate District. In his six terms as a state senator, Davis has worked to expand high-speed internet, raise teacher pay, and ensure that military pensions are tax-exempt.
Prior to being elected state senator, Davis served as the mayor of Snow Hill, North Carolina, for seven years. He also served in the US Air Force and aided in Air Force One operations at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
The Democrat from Snow Hill, who clinched Butterfield's endorsement, supports codifying abortion rights at the federal level.
Smith, Davis' opponent, is a business executive, entrepreneur, and real estate investor. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Smith at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, in late September.
Smith, who ran against and lost to Butterfield in 2020 by 9 percentage points, described herself as "the unapologetic America first, Pro-Life, Pro-Guns, Pro-Military, freedom loving, Pro-Trump fighter" on her campaign website.
Of abortion, she said it "should never be used as a form of birth control or gender selection, period. If a bill comes across my desk and it is to restrict abortion and includes exceptions, I would support it."
Smith defeated Sandy Roberson and six other candidates in the 2022 GOP primary, bringing in just over 30% of the vote.
Voting history for North Carolina's 1st Congressional District
North Carolina's 1st Congressional District stretches through a primarily rural part of the eastern side of the state and borders Virginia.
Joe Biden had a 9 percentage point margin of victory over Trump under the district's previous boundaries in 2020 before redistricting made it slightly less Democratic-leaning.
The district, which voted for the Democratic candidate in each of the last six presidential elections, hasn't been represented by a Republican since 1883.
The money race
According to OpenSecrets, Davis raised $1.73 million, spent more than $1.5 million, and had $184,000 on hand, as of October 19. His opponent, Smith, raised $1.6 million, spent $1.25 million, and had about $365,000 cash on hand, as of October 19.
As of early November 2022, more than a dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups together spent more than $8.5 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race's primary phase. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leads all spenders.
What experts say
The race between Davis and Smith was rated as "likely Democratic" by Inside Elections, "lean Democratic" by The Cook Political Report, and "leans Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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