Democrats got a huge win and gained a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after state Sen. Wiley Nickel defeated 27-year-old MAGA extremist Bo Hines in the 13th Congressional District.
The Nickel-Hines race was one of the most expensive in the state. Both pollsters and journalists expected this to be the closest race in the country and a mirror of how races in the rest of the U.S. would go.
Nickel, a two-term state Senator, criminal defense attorney and former White House staffer under President Barack Obama, beat Hines by 2.64%. Although the race was close, it wasn’t as close as many expected and didn’t indicate any sort of “red wave” that some prognosticators and Republicans had believed was coming that would drown Americans’ freedoms and rights throughout the nation.
The race for the 13th District was a race to the middle as both candidates tried painting the other as too extreme to represent the conservative-leaning district that includes all of Johnston County, the southern part of Wake County outside Raleigh, and parts of Harnett and Wayne counties.
Hines was endorsed by extremists Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor-Greene.
Hines tried, unsuccessfully, to tie Nickel to President Joe Biden and a Democratic Party that he blamed for inflation. For his part, Nickel presented himself as a moderate who would work across the aisle when necessary. He also campaigned on his desire to expand access to health care, make homeownership more attainable for first-time buyers and work to bring down rising costs.
“I understand why so many people feel unheard and left behind,” Nickel told supporters Tuesday night. “There is a disconnect between Washington, D.C., and everyday Americans. I believe in North Carolina. I believe in the future of North Carolina and I know voters are ready for change and they’re ready for progress.”
He also made the assumption that the 13th District was far more conservative than it actually is.
Some of Hines’s positions that he thought would help him get elected included:
- Calling for the FBI to be defunded
- Being a believer in “The Big Lie” by saying he wouldn’t have voted to certify President Joe Biden’s win in 2020
- His claim that he “will be the most conservative member of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation”
- His call for a halt to all immigration for 10 years
- Saying that he’s “100% Pro-God, 100% Pro-Gun and 100% Pro-Trump”
Perhaps his most damaging view was his position on abortion. Hines said abortion is “absolutely murder and any Republican politician who’s not willing to say that should not be in office.” That was before softening his stance as the election drew nearer.
Another terrible gaffe regarding abortion came in October when Hines told WRAL that he thought allowing abortions should be decided on a case-by-case basis by those in the community – essentially an “abortion approval committee” – one of the dumbest suggestions made in any race in the entire country.
“I think we can take a look at several different options to set up a review process,” Hines said. “I think it comes down to an individual community level. That’s nothing the federal government should have a role in.”
Nickel jumped at the opportunity to hammer Hines on such an absurd statement, saying it proved that the first-time candidate was unfit to represent the district’s voters and that he would support policies that would harm women’s health.
Demographic data in the 13th Congressional District race is not available at the time of this writing, so it’s not known right now what coalition played the biggest role in getting Nickel elected, but just based on the raw voting data, residents of the district made it clear that Hines was simply too extreme.