Current Democratic North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield expects a smooth re-election today.
Butterfield, who has represented North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District since 2004, is running against Republican Pete DiLauro and Libertarian Darryl Holloman. During the congressional redistricting after the 2010 census, the 1st District expanded to include Durham and Duke’s campus, areas that tend to vote heavily Democratic.
“I welcome Durham into the district,” Butterfield said in an interview.
He added that the 733,499 people living in the 1st Congressional District make up a diverse electorate. The 1st District is a “voting rights district” as described by the Voting Rights Act—the district must be drawn so that at least 50 percent of the population are minorities of voting age. Butterfield said it important for black voters to have a say about who represents them in Congress.
DiLauro was unavailable for comment. The candidate previously denied interviews to WNCT News because he was “sandbagged twice by incompetent overzealous reporters.”
DiLauro has no reported funds raised, according to OpenSecrets.org. In contrast, Butterfield more than $800,000 and spent more $700,000.
“My opponent has not surfaced at all in this election,” Butterfield said. “If he gets any votes at all, it will be from those who are just loyal Republican voters.”
Butterfield has spent the days leading up to today’s election doing what he calls “inventory of the district.” This includes making sure that the voting sites are ready for election day and that all registered voters are planning on voting.
Butterfield added that many citizens do not understand the workings of Congress, so he spends his weekends in North Carolina meeting the people of his district. “You cannot cast an intelligent vote in Washington without really knowing your district,” Butterfield said. “And you can’t learn about your people over the Internet or by guessing.”
Although Butterfield aims to win the election, fellow candidate Holloman expects only to do “about average for a Libertarian candidate.” He added that he predicts the result of this election to be a typical outcome in which a candidate from one of the two established parties wins.
A software developer with a low-budget campaign that includes no staff members, Holloman entered this election to seek change for the youth of America, including his teenage daughter. Holloman added that he is “terrified” for the future of America.
“There is no difference between Democrats and Republicans,” Holloman said. “If [voters] vote for a Republican or a Democrat, their choices are fascist or fascist.”
Following in the economic ideals of libertarian former presidential candidate Ron Paul, Holloman seeks to improve free market economics and condemns the government’s policies that force consumers to use the American dollar.
“A vote for a Libertarian is a vote against fascism,” Holloman said. “Somebody has to bring common sense to the table.”
Although Holloman’s campaign focuses on a new economic plan, DiLauro’s official campaign website focuses on more controversial social issues.
“If elected, I will advocate and vote for a federal constitutional amendment that will outlaw same sex marriage, putting an end to openly promoting homosexual behavior,” he wrote on his website.
Although the official results will not be known until all of the votes have been counted, Butterfield is making plans to visit Duke if he is re-elected.
He noted that he understands the needs of many of the middle and lower income students that attend Duke, and he wishes to get involved with student groups on campus.
“A new generation of leaders face huge challenges in our country, and we need new ideas and forward thinking in our policy making,” Butterfield said. “Students at Duke University will be some of our future leaders.”