Valerie Foushee established a commanding lead in the election for U.S. House of Representatives District 04 on Tuesday night, effectively winning the race to replace retiring Rep. David Price.

Foushee, the Democratic candidate who earned approximately 67.7 percent of the early vote with 136 of 162 precincts reporting on Tuesday night. Republican candidate Courtney Geels earned 32.2 percent during that stretch of results.

While North Carolina’s redistricting process made changes to District 04 ahead of the election cycle, the congressional district now spans communities in Orange, Durham, Alamance, Person and Granville counties.

“This is the community I was raised in, they’ve given me an opportunity to give back to it,” Foushee, a life-long Orange County native, told 97.9 The Hill. “I’m grateful for that opportunity and I promise to do my best to make the best of it.”

Speaking to a cheering crowd at the Carolina Brewery on Franklin Street, Foushee said she is grateful for the support, love and hard work from her team, volunteers and community members during the election cycle.

“As anxious as I am,” said the congresswoman-elect, “I am excited to go to Washington to work for all of you, for those things that we have been talking about for so long. We know that when Democrats are given the opportunity to govern — when we’re given the opportunity to care and do for all of us, that’s what we do.

“When we get the opportunity, we will do what’s right,” she added, “because the time is always right to do what’s right.”

Prior to her run for Congress, Foushee served in the North Carolina Senate for eight years as the senator for District 23 — which previously covered Orange and Chatham counties. She previously served in the state House, on the Orange County Board of Commissioners for two terms and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education for two terms. Her prior career included working 21 years for the Chapel Hill Police Department after graduating from UNC.

The election marks a big shift for the Triangle community, as the sitting congressman Price has served 18 terms and represented the Triangle community more than 30 years in the U.S. House. After announcing his retirement before the primary elections, he will officially step down in Congress at the start of 2023.

Price attended Foushee’s election night party on Tuesday and endorsed her as a representative of the community.

“They’ll be getting a wonderful person who is in all this for the right reasons,” said Price. “She’s made a career out of public service — she’s done everything.”

“She comes with a wealth of experience, clearly established values and priorities,” he added. “She’s spoken of those tonight: healthcare for everybody, public education and — above all these days — protecting our democracy. So, I’m very honored to be succeeded by Valerie.”

Foushee told 97.9 The Hill that she and Congressman Price have been working together in preparation of her election, calling the long-time representative a mentor.

“What I plan to do is to be the same kind of representative [as Price] as it relates to being responsive and being responsible to those in the district,” she said. “Certainly, I cannot make the kind of gains he was able to make over 36 years, but trust me: I will make all that I can and all that I’m able to.”

The North Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement congratulating Foushee on her projected victory and move to Congress. Party Chair Bobbie Richardson wrote:

“For decades, Valerie Foushee has worked relentlessly in Orange County and in both chambers of the General Assembly, to ensure her community has equal access to social and economic resources that put them on the path to success and fought for the next generation of leaders to receive a quality, affordable education that will allow them to reach their highest potential. She is a committed public servant that truly puts fairness and justice at the forefront. We are proud to have her represent the people of NC-04 as she carries on Congressman Price’s legacy and forges a new path delivering for the people.”


Photo via Valerie Foushee for NC Senate. does not charge subscription fees, and you can directly support our efforts in local journalism here. Want more of what you see on Chapelboro? Let us bring free local news and community information to you by signing up for our biweekly newsletter.