Editorial: David Price’s resignation opens the door to change

Democratic Representative David Price has represented North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District for over 30 years. Last week he announced that he would not run again and would retire at the end of his term in December 2022.

North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District includes all of Durham County, Orange Counties, Granville Counties, and Franklin Counties. It also includes parts of Chatham County, Wake County, and Vance County.

Price has represented the district since 1987 for all but two years. Upon his retirement, Price will resign from his leadership roles as chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Allocations Subcommittee and the House Democracy Partnership, a bipartisan group that works with lawmakers overseas to improve governance.

In a district that Price has worn easily for the past three decades, the district is almost certain to remain a democratic stronghold. Still, a new face could bring with it new ideas, guidelines, and an agenda that may be different from Price.

In his role as chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Allocations Subcommittee, Price was instrumental in securing assets for the district to develop affordable housing. With the latest census data showing the triangle is growing twice as much as the state, continuing to allocate resources to the development of affordable housing will be vital for the new representative.

Given the population growth, we would like a new representative to further improve access to health care, equal education and reliable transport.

One potential project that could be renewed is the GoTriangle Light Rail, a previously proposed light rail project that would connect Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham.

One area where a new representative needs to do a better job is fighting poverty. Price received a 25 percent rating in 2017 and a 28 percent rating in 2020 from RESULTS, a US non-partisan advocacy group that aims to find long-term solutions to poverty.

Price’s lack of poverty reduction measures will be a task for the new representative to be resolved. District 4 areas such as southeastern Raleigh struggle with a poverty rate of nearly 25 percent. The state of North Carolina remains the 15th tallest in the nation.

The latest census results have awarded North Carolina a new congressional district, with the draw for the proposed 14th congressional district underway. With the state’s population growth centered in the Triangle and Charlotte areas, experts expect a new district to be drawn in either of those two areas.

The new congress district will certainly redesign the 4th district. Once in the triangle, look for the 4th district to either relocate towards Raleigh or the Chapel Hill / Durham areas. If you’re near Charlotte, look for congressional districts in the triangle that still have some redesign. The 4th district could possibly include parts of the surrounding counties, such as parts of Counties Caswell, Person, Vance or Warren.

A possible shift could certainly shift the constituency in the 4th district to favor either a moderate or a progressive Democrat over the other.

With the Democratic primary, due to occupy Price’s seat on March 8, several candidates already have an onslaught in their sights.

The Democratic Senator Wiley Nickel of Cary has already announced his election campaign. Nickel is a lawyer who served in the Obama administration. In the Senate, Nickel has attempted to raise government salaries and lift a government ban on collective bargaining for civil servants.

Nickel has already raised over $ 250,000 for a campaign. Nickel hopes to take on Washington in providing quality education, protecting reproductive rights and combating climate change.

Other potential candidates to run include former State Senator Floyd McKissick Jr. and Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, both Democrats.

McKissick Jr. has had a long history of running for Congress after serving on the Durham City Council and the North Carolina State Senate for many years. He resigned from the Senate in 2020 to accept a post on the NC Utilities Commission. He is also currently the first vice chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Most notably, in the Senate, McKissick Jr. was the primary sponsor of the North Carolina Racial Justice Act, passed in 2009. He was also known for sustainable development laws and the revision of North Carolina’s land use and zoning laws.

Allam, the first Muslim woman elected to public office in North Carolina, is “heavily considering running.” She expressed her desire that the county honor Price’s legacy with a courageous progressive who fights for our community.

Allam, a former Bernie Sanders political director, was elected in 2020 to lead her campaign that focused on increasing teacher salaries and creating a resource center for immigrants in Durham.

With the start of the 2022 election cycle, it will be exciting to see what a new face will bring to the state. A new representative for the area could bring innovative changes to the 4th district.

@dthopinion

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