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Rep. Ray Russell Facing Primary Challenge for N.C. House Seat

By Nathan Ham

There are several primary battles for races in North Carolina, but locally, the only race where an incumbent is being challenged inside the same party is the race for the District 93 seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Democratic incumbent Ray Russell will have to fend off Democratic challenger Turner Doolittle. Doolittle, 21, doesn’t have a lot of candidate info readily available. A quick Google search reveals no campaign website or Twitter account. Based on info from his personal Facebook page, he says he’s a student at Appalachian State University majoring in computer science and is originally from Winston-Salem.

Rep. Russell defeated then-incumbent Jonathan Jordan in 2018 and has been busy at work in Raleigh. Some of Russell’s biggest issues to address include healthcare and Medicaid expansion, protecting natural resources, improving education and gerrymandering problems within the state.

Other contested primaries on the Democratic ballot include incumbent Governor Roy Cooper facing a challenge from Ernest T. Reeves. Reeves, 55, is from Greenville and has ran in previous primaries for the U.S. Senate in 2014, U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District in 2016 and the North Carolina House District 8 seat in 2018.

Five Democrats are running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Thom Tillis. Erica D. Smith, Steve Swenson, Cal Cunningham, Trevor M. Fuller and Atul Goel. Tillis is facing his own set of challengers in the Republican primary from Paul Wright, Larry Holmquist and Sharon Y. Hudson.

Dan Forest and Holly Grange are running to represent the Republican Party in the race for the North Carolina Gubernatorial seat.

The Democratic primary has two people seeking the nomination to take on Rep. Virginia Foxx in the U.S. House of Representatives District 5 race. David Wilson Brown, 45, of Gaston County is running against Eric Nathan Hughes, 26, of Gaston County. Brown is a 1996 graduate of Appalachian State University. Hughes has no campaign website, Facebook page or Twitter account.

Watauga County sample ballots for the Democratic, Republican, Constitution, Green and Libertarian parties can be found below.

Constitution Party

Democratic Party

Green Party

Libertarian Party

Republican Party