U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a Wilson Democrat, easily turned back a challenge from a Sampson County farmer to win re-election in the 1st Congressional District.
Butterfield had 74 percent of the vote to 26 percent for Republican Arthur Rich of Garland, according to preliminary returns.
Rich, 37, unsuccessfully sought the Republican lieutenant governor nomination in 2012. He won the primary in May by 268 votes.
Butterfield, 67, a former state Supreme Court justice, was first elected in 2004 to represent the 1st District, which includes parts of 24 counties in northeastern North Carolina. The 1st District is one of two black-majority House districts in North Carolina.
In the House, Butterfield serves as the Democrats’ chief deputy whip and sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. He has advocated a higher minimum wage and favors pathways to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.