Incumbent G.K. Butterfield was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.
Butterfield easily defeated Republican Pete DiLauro and Libertarian Darryl Holloman to gain the House seat in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. He has represented the district since 2004.
Butterfield won 75 percent of the district with 93 percent reporting.
“Butterfield’s victory is not a surprise,” said Mac McCorkle, former Democratic political consultant and associate professor of the practice of public policy.
Butterfield’s re-election will have positive impacts for the Duke community, McCorkle said.
In a previous interview with The Chronicle, Butterfield said he understands the needs of students from middle to lower income families at Duke. He expressed interest in becoming more involved with student groups on campus and is making plans to visit the University.
He added that Duke students will be some of the nation’s future leaders and will help solve the challenges facing the country.
Congressional redistricting shifted the University’s district positioning, changing its congressman from Democratic Rep. David Price, a Duke professor of political science and public policy, to Butterfield. Despite the shift, McCorkle remains optimistic.
“It’s a blow to lose Price, but Butterfield will be sympathetic and a friend of Duke’s,” he said.
Price won re-election to the 4th District, which he represented from 1987 to 1994 and again since 1997.
The Duke community can expect continuity in the shift from Price to Butterfield, said senior Elena Botella, president of the College Democrats of North Carolina.
“Butterfield and Price have had very similar voting records, so in that sense, much will stay the same for Duke students,” she wrote in an email Tuesday.
McCorkle noted that during the congressional redistricting following the 2010 census—which expanded the 1st District to include Durham—Republican lawmakers gerrymandered the state. This led to the packing of Democrats into certain districts, including that of Butterfield’s.
Across the nation, congressional redistricting has cost Democrats seats in the House, McCorkle said.
“To the victors go the spoils,” he added. “The Tea Party and the right wing have not done well in the U.S. Senate races, but they have really carved out beach houses in the American system in the House.”
The main issue facing Congress will be addressing the fiscal cliff, McCorkle said, adding that it will be difficult to assess what will happen until the debt is resolved.