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David Price

Assumed office 
January 3, 1997
Preceded by Fred Heineman
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Bill Cobey
Succeeded by Fred Heineman

Born August 17, 1940 (1940-08-17) (age 69)
Erwin, Tennessee
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lisa Price
Children Karen Price
Michael Price
Residence Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Alma mater Mars Hill College, University of North Carolina, Yale University
Occupation College Professor
Religion Baptist

David Eugene Price (born August 17, 1940) is a professor and politician currently serving as Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 4th district of North Carolina.[1] The district includes portions of Raleigh, Cary, as well as all of Durham and Chapel Hill, and surrounding suburbs.


Early life and education

Born in Erwin, Tennessee, Price attended Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina when it was a junior college.[2] He later transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after winning a scholarship and earned a B.A. degree in 1961.[2] Price continued his education at Yale University where he received a theology degree (1964) and a Ph.D. in political science (1969).[3] Originally intent on becoming an engineer, Price decided instead to study divinity and political science.[2]


He served as an aide to Alaska Senator Bob Bartlett from 1963 to 1967 and then entered academia, working as a political science and public policy professor at Duke University from 1973 until his first campaign for Congress in 1986.[3] He also served as a Duke professor during 1995 and 1996, when he was not in Congress.[3]

Price worked for the North Carolina Democratic Party from 1979 to 1984.[3] Price has written a political science textbook entitled The Congressional Experience, from the perspective of a candidate for office, and then, a member of Congress.

Price also served as executive director and then state chair for the North Carolina Democratic Party prior to being elected to Congress.[2]




Price first entered Congress in 1987 after defeating one-term Republican Rep. Bill Cobey[3] and served there continuously until the 104th Congress. That year, he was narrowly defeated by Republican Fred Heineman during the Republican Revolution of 1994, in part to lower-than-expected turnout in the Democratic stronghold of Orange County (home to Chapel Hill), but despite the fact that heavily Republican Randolph County had been excised from the Fourth District during redistricting prior to that election year.[2]

Price defeated Heineman in a rematch and returned to the seat following the 1996 elections. He was helped in part by the addition of heavily Democratic Durham to the district, as well as a tremendous get-out-the-vote effort among students at UNC. In addition, voters were not happy with the lack of progress made by the freshman class on the goals of the Contract with America.[4]

Price was elected to his 10th term (sixth consecutive) in the 2006 Congressional elections, earning 65% of the popular vote.

2008 campaign

Price's opponent in the 2008 election was Republican B.J. Lawson. Lawson was called the most formidable opposition Price has faced since he was defeated by Heineman in 1994,[5] and ran television ads, which Price's opponents usually do not do.[6] Despite increased efforts and expenditures by his Republican opponent, Price still defeated Lawson by 63% to 37%.[7]

2010 Campaign

After B.J. Lawson announced he would no longer run against Price in 2010[8], international banker and political newcomer Frank Roche announced his intention to run as Price's main opposition.

Political positions

Price was an early opponent of the Iraq War and has sponsored a potential bill to bring conduct of private military companies working in Iraq under legal jurisdiction of the United States.[9] He has also introduced legislation to prohibit contractors from performing interrogations of prisoners in the custody of intelligence agencies.[10]

As chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for determining the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, Price is seeking to focus immigration enforcement efforts on criminal convicts and suspects.[11]

Price authored the Price Education Affordability Act, which made the interest on student loans tax deductible and was enacted in 1997, and legislation creating the Advanced Technological Education program at the National Science Foundation, which provides grants for high-tech education in community colleges and was enacted in 1993.[12]

Price voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[13] In 1999, he also voted to repeal the Glass-Steagal Act, a vote which deregulated the finance industry.[14] He voted to make it harder for individuals to declare bankruptcy in the 2005 bankruptcy reform.[15] In December 2008, Price voted "yes" on the proposed automobile industry bailout.[16]

Price declined to support impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush during Bush's presidency.[17] Price also supports the federal application of the death penalty.[18]

Price is also the author of legislation to reform the public financing system for presidential campaigns.[19]

Committee assignments

In the 111th Congress, Price serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security. He also serves as Chairman of the House Democracy Assistance Commission, which works through peer-to-peer partnerships with emerging democratic legislatures to assist in the development of the fundamental building blocks of legislative government.[20] He is chair of the House Democracy Assistance Commission.

Personal life

Price married his wife, Lisa Kanwit, in 1968. They were longtime Democratic Party activists together,[2] and they have two children: Karen a filmmaker; and Michael, a professor. They have one grandson, Charles Albert, born in 2006. Today Price resides in Chapel Hill[2] and is a member of the Binkley Memorial Baptist Church.

Price appeared as a contestant on the nighttime version of the CBS game show Password, which aired on November 28, 1963, while he was a graduate student at Yale. His celebrity partner was Gloria Stewart, and they lost to James Stewart and his contestant partner. Price won a consolation prize of $50.


  1. ^ (map)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Dogged Price does homework, pursues goals". Raleigh News and Observer. 1994-10-29.  
  3. ^ a b c d e "David Price (Dem)". Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  4. ^ Wall Street Journal - Republican Rebels of '94 Now Face Their Own Revolt
  5. ^ Sorg, Lisa (2008-10-15). "B.J. Lawson, The Hybrid Candidate". Independent Weekly. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  6. ^ Teague Beckwith, Ryan (2008-10-16). "Lawson airing ads against Price". Raleigh News and Observer. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  7. ^ "Lawson won't seek rematch with Price". Raleigh News and Observer. 2009-08-06.  
  8. ^
  9. ^ "House Bill Would Allow Prosecution of Contractors," [1], David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times, October 4, 2007.
  10. ^ "Interrogation for Profit," [2] Editorial, The New York Times, June 12, 2008.
  11. ^ "Dems raise stakes on immigration," [3] Politico, David Rogers, June 17, 2008; and "Dems: ICE should focus on criminals, not workers," [4] The News & Observer, Barbara Barrett, June 25, 2008.
  12. ^ Price website: My Work in Congress: Legislative Accomplishments [5]
  13. ^ Teague Beckwith, Ryan (2008-10-03). "Roll call on bailout bill". Raleigh News and Observer. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  14. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 570". 1999-11-04. Retrieved 2008-11-04.  
  15. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 108". 2005-04-14. Retrieved 2008-11-04.  
  16. ^ Hirschfield Davis, Julie (2008-12-11). "House passes auto bailout". The News & Observer. Retrieved 2008-12-11.  
  17. ^ DeConto, Jesse (2007-08-20). "Activists push Price to impeach Bush". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  18. ^ Sorg, Lisa (2007-07-25). "Biotech or biohazard?". Independent Weekly. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  19. ^ "Point of View: Public financing's cleansing power," [6] The News & Observer, Chase Foster, July 10, 2008.
  20. ^ See

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Cobey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Fred Heineman
Preceded by
Fred Heineman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 4th congressional district

1997 – present


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