Vulnerable House Dem 'fighting' to retain his seat rejects GOP challenger's claim he's 'beholden' to Biden

A North Carolina Democrat seeking re-election in the House says he is “fighting every day” for the families in his district as he fends off accusations made by his Republican challenger that he’s “beholden” to President Biden and dismissive of constituent concerns.

Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C., said he and his team have “been working so hard to deliver for families across eastern North Carolina” in an interview with Fox News Digital.

“In the past few weeks alone, we’ve announced over $13 million in community project funds, 15 different projects in eight counties.”

Republican Laurie Buckhout, who is in the race to represent North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, said Davis is a “career politician” who has “never had a day in his life where he’s run a business.” 


Don Davis, Laurie Buckhout

Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C., the Democratic nominee, will face off against Republican Laurie Buckhout in the race to represent North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. (Getty Images, Laurie Buckhout campaign)

But Davis, an Air Force veteran, said he is “working every single day to make sure that the people of eastern North Carolina, that their voices are heard in Washington, D.C., that we’re making connections and telling the story.”

He also rejected his Republican challenger’s claim he is “beholden” to President Biden and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

“Let me be clear. I want to thank Col. Buckhout for her service to our country. But I think she couldn’t be more off on that whole comment because this is not about being beholden,” he said. “I’ve heard about flipping the seat. But, for me, it’s about fighting every day for families of eastern North Carolina.”

Davis said he is “only beholden to the families of eastern North Carolina,” and pointed to his “fight” for farmers and military families in his district.


“I’m fighting to make sure that our children, our young people, have a future,” he said. “I’m beholden to that farmer out there who is struggling right now to figure out how they’re going to keep the farm open. I’m beholden right now to those young people who see that they have a future in the East. I’m beholden to those veterans and those military families who are putting their lives on the line every single day.

“I’m only beholden to the people of eastern North Carolina, and I think people know that about me.”

Buckhout, a former Army colonel and first-time candidate, also took aim at Davis for his voting record.

“We have to admit that Davis is just Biden’s, you know, surrogate on the ground,” Buckhout said. “He’s his agent, he’s his guy. He does what Biden says. He votes with Biden.”

Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C.

“I’m only beholden to the people of eastern North Carolina, and I think people know that about me,” Davis told Fox News Digital. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Davis, however, urged voters to look at his record as he campaigns in the race, which has been ranked a “Democrat Toss Up” by nonpartisan election analyst the Cook Political Report.

“Anyone can take a look at my record. I mean, you’re talking to the third-ranking member of our caucus in the Congress when it comes to bipartisanship,” Davis said.

Asked about the chief concerns among those living in eastern North Carolina, Davis admitted there are “enormous concerns right now with costs.”

“It’s really costly when you put the cost of food on top of paying rent, a mortgage payment, housing. And we know that we still have great health disparities. And we have to then put some cost of medications on top of that,” he said. “It begins to add up, and it places a lot of stress on families.”

Davis said he had made more than 170 different stops in the district as he campaigns for re-election and recognizes that “people are hurting.”

“I feel the pain, you know, with the cost of just trying to make ends meet,” he said.

Among other concerns, Davis, who previously served as the mayor of Snow Hill, North Carolina, in the early 2000s, said his constituents have been vocal about broadband and infrastructure.

Don Davis

Davis stands alongside Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Jared Golden, D-Maine, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 6, 2024. (Tierney L. Cross/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


In October 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted new congressional district boundaries, adding the counties of Chowan, Franklin, Greene, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and the remainder of Vance to the state’s 1st Congressional District. The newly redrawn district now excludes Wayne County.

Davis, who has served in Congress since 2023 and previously served for ten years in the North Carolina state Senate, will face off against Buckhout in the state’s general election Nov. 5.

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