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Wiley Nickel
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byTed Budd (redistricting)
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 16th district
In office
January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2023
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byGale Adcock
Personal details
George Wilmarth Nickel III

(1975-11-23) November 23, 1975 (age 48)
San Joaquin Valley, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseCaroline Nickel
EducationTulane University (BA)
Pepperdine University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

George Wilmarth "Wiley" Nickel III[1][2] (born November 23, 1975) is an American attorney and Democratic politician serving as the U.S. representative for North Carolina's 13th congressional district since 2023.

Nickel served as a member of the North Carolina Senate from the 16th district from 2019 to 2023.[3] He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2022.[4]

Early life and education

Nickel was born in the San Joaquin Valley.[5] After graduating from Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and government from Tulane University and a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law.[6]



Nickel worked for Vice President Al Gore from 1996 to 2001 as a member of his national advance staff.[7] He is also a member of Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Corps.[7]

Nickel later worked on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and served on the White House national advance staff from 2008 until 2012. He is a member of the Obama Alumni Association and was part of Obama's first wave of political endorsements in 2018. Obama endorsed six candidates in North Carolina, including Nickel, in August 2018.[8][9]

2006 State Senate election

Nickel ran in California's 12th State Senate district in 2006 against incumbent Republican Jeff Denham. He was called "a moderate Democrat" and the race was seen as potentially competitive.[2] He spent $250,000 on advertisements, mainly funded by personal loans, with many airing in the Sacramento media market despite the district being in the Modesto region.[5] He lost the general election to Denham, approximately 60%-40%.


Nickel was a criminal defense attorney, having opened his law practice in Cary[10][11] in 2011.

North Carolina Senate



Nickel was first elected to represent the 16th senate district with over 65% of the vote on November 6, 2018.[12] His seat was one of six seats Democrats picked up to break the Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly.[13][14][15]


Nickel ran for reelection in 2020. He was unopposed in the Democratic primary[12] and defeated Republican nominee Will Marsh with 65.6% of the vote.[16] He was endorsed by The News & Observer.[17]


Nickel's official North Carolina Senate portrait

2019–20 session

Nickel was appointed to the Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee, the Pensions/Retirement/Aging Committee and the Education/Higher Education Appropriations Committee on January 18, 2019.[18] He co-sponsored a bill to restore master's degree and doctoral degree pay for teachers in North Carolina.[19]

Nickel co-sponsored Senate Bill 209, which would increase the scope and punishment of hate crimes and require the SBI to maintain and create a hate crimes statistics database. He spoke about SB 209 during a candlelight vigil at the Islamic Center of Cary to remember the New Zealand terror attack victims.[20]

2021–22 session

Nickel served on the Redistricting and Elections Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Pensions/Retirement/Aging Committee, and the Appropriations on General Government/Information Technology Committee in the state senate.[21]

U.S. House of Representatives



Nickel ran for Congress in North Carolina's newly drawn 13th congressional district. The district covers southern Wake County, all of Johnston County, and parts of Wayne and Harnett Counties. Nickel won the Democratic nomination.[22]

The Carolina Journal wrote that Nickel ran "as a moderate despite a fairly left-wing voting record".[23]

Nickel was endorsed by The Network for Public Education Fund,[24][25] the North Carolina Association of Educators,[26] NARAL Pro-Choice America,[27] Communication Workers of America,[28] the North Carolina State AFL-CIO,[29][30] the National Association of Social Workers,[31] Human Rights Campaign,[32][33] Everytown for Gun Safety,[34] the League of Conservation Voters,[35] the Voter Protection Project,[36][37] the Sierra Club,[38] Equality North Carolina,[39] the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans,[40] North Carolina Asian Americans Together in Action,[41] and Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics of North Carolina.[31]

Nickel defeated Bo Hines, the Republican nominee, in the November 8 general election.[4]

Caucus memberships

Committee assignments

Political positions

Nickel with political advocate and actress Thora Birch in 2023

Nickel supports abortion rights[46][47] and codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law.[48]

Nickel voted against a resolution to condemn attacks against crisis pregnancy centers, anti-abortion individuals, and churches.[49]

Electoral history


2006 California State Senate election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Denham (incumbent) 92,879 59.8
Democratic Wiley Nickel 62,539 40.2
Total votes 155,418 100.0
Republican hold


2018 North Carolina Senate, District 16 Democratic primary[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wiley Nickel 8,585 55.48%
Democratic Luis Toledo 6,890 44.52%
Total votes 15,445 100.00%
2018 North Carolina Senate, District 16 general election[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wiley Nickel 63,335 65.28%
Republican Paul Smith 30,308 31.24%
Libertarian Brian Irving 3,382 3.49%
Total votes 97,025 100.00%
Democratic hold


2020 North Carolina Senate, District 16 general election[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wiley Nickel 80,530 65.65%
Republican Paul Smith 42,144 34.35%
Total votes 122,674 100.00%
Democratic hold


2022 Democratic primary in North Carolina's 13th congressional district[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wiley Nickel 22,974 51.68%
Democratic Sam Searcy 10,210 22.97%
Democratic Jamie Campbell Bowles 4,175 9.39%
Democratic Nathan Click 3,813 8.58%
Democratic Denton Lee 3,285 7.39%
Total votes 44,457 100.00%
2022 North Carolina's 13th congressional district election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wiley Nickel 143,090 51.06%
Republican Bo Hines 134,256 48.04%
Total votes 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life

Born in California, Nickel moved to North Carolina in 2009.[53] He lives in Cary with his wife, Caroline, and their two children. Nickel is a second cousin of conservative commentator Tucker Carlson.[54]


  1. ^ "Wiley Nickel III's Biography". Vote Smart: The Voter's Self Defense System. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Pollard, Vic (October 13, 2006). "Nickel making name on his own". The Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Info about NC 16th SD". Ballotpedia.
  4. ^ a b Schoenbaum, Hannah (November 8, 2022). "Nickel wins North Carolina US House seat over GOP's Hines". Associated Press. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Goldmacher, Shane (August 10, 2006). "With few hot races, Nickel looks for infusion of party cash". Capitol Weekly. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  6. ^ "Wiley Nickel (JD '05) Elected to North Carolina State Senate | Pepperdine Caruso School of Law". Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "State Senator Wiley Nickel first to announce for Congress to replace Price". Carolina Journal -. October 18, 2021. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  8. ^ "Obama endorses 81 candidates, 6 in NC for November vote". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Obama endorses 6 candidates for the North Carolina legislature". The News & Observer. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Raleigh Defense Lawyer | 919-650-2851 | The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC | Raleigh DWI Lawyer | Cary NC Office | NC Expungement Lawyer". Raleigh Criminal Defense Law Firm | 919-585-1486 | Law Offices of Wiley Nickel. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  11. ^ "'We're not going to get walked over.' With divided power, can they agree on anything?". The News & Observer. January 28, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Historical Election Results Data | NCSBE". Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  13. ^ "Democrats break GOP 'supermajority'". Raleigh News & Observer. November 6, 2018.
  14. ^ "North Carolina Election Results – Election Results 2018 – The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  15. ^ WRAL (November 6, 2018). "Democrats break veto-proof majority in General Assembly". Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "North Carolina State Senate – District 16 Election Results | USA TODAY". Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  17. ^ The Editorial Board (October 3, 2020). "Here are all the News & Observer's 2020 endorsements". News & Observer.
  18. ^ "NCGA Week in Review- Jan 18, 2019 | Lexology". January 18, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  19. ^ WRAL (February 7, 2019). "Senate bill would restore master's pay for some teachers". Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  20. ^ "Vigil held in Cary to remember New Zealand terror attack victims". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. March 16, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  21. ^ "Committees – North Carolina General Assembly". Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  22. ^ "Wiley Nickel wins Democratic nomination for U.S. House in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District". Associated Press. May 18, 2022.
  23. ^ "New NC congressional delegation heads to DC after midterms". Carolina Journal -. December 29, 2022.
  24. ^ Cimarusti, Darcie (April 14, 2022). "Wiley Nickel for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District". NPE Action. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  25. ^ Cimarusti, Darcie (March 14, 2018). "Wiley Nickel for North Carolina State Senate, 16th District". NPE Action. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  26. ^ Mickey (May 2, 2022). "NCAE Endorses Slate Of Congressional Candidates". JoCo Report. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  27. ^ "NARAL's Election Endorsements". NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  28. ^ "2022 CWA Endorsed Candidates – North Carolina". Communications Workers of America. October 20, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  29. ^ "NC AFL-CIO Announces May 17th Primary Endorsements". North Carolina's Union Movement. April 21, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  30. ^ Gallup, Jasmine (April 25, 2022). "NC AFL-CIO Endorses Beasley, Other Democrats". INDY Week. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  31. ^ a b "Wiley Nickel III's Political Summary". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  32. ^ "North Carolina – HRC". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  33. ^ "Human Rights Campaign Endorses 14 Pro-Equality Champions for U.S. House of Representatives". Human Rights Campaign. July 6, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  34. ^ "Wiley Nickel". Gun Sense Voter. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  35. ^ "Wiley Nickel Earns LCV Action Fund Endorsement for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  36. ^ "Champions". Voter Protection Project. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  37. ^ [email protected] (April 14, 2022). "State Senator Wiley Nickel Earns National Voting Rights Organization Endorsement". Voter Protection Project. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  38. ^ "News: N.C. Sierra Club's endorsees pledge leadership on climate, other environmental issues". Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  39. ^ "Equality NC PAC Releases Endorsements". EqualityNC. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  40. ^ david (April 29, 2022). "Retiree Group Endorses Wiley Nickel for Election to U.S. House". Retired Americans. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  41. ^ "Endorsements". Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  42. ^ Meyer, Theodoric; Caldwell, Leigh Ann (August 8, 2023). "Analysis | Meet the new Blue Dogs". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 24, 2023.
  43. ^ "Leadership | New Democrat Coalition". Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  44. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  45. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved January 28, 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  46. ^ "Local Matters: U.S. House candidate Wiley Nickel discusses Putin, abortion rights and inflation". April 28, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  47. ^ "'Trying to get young voters informed': Abortion rights advocates hold demonstration in Clayton". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. July 11, 2022. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  48. ^ "'I have never known a world in which we didn't have the right to choose.'". The Pulse. May 5, 2022. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  49. ^ "NC Congressional Democrats oppose resolution condemning pregnancy center attacks | The North State Journal". January 18, 2023.
  50. ^ "NC SBE Contest Results". Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  51. ^ a b "NC SBE Contest Results". Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  52. ^ "NC SBE Contest Results". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  53. ^ Newhauser, Daniel (November 18, 2020). "And so the 2022 campaign gets underway". NC Policy Watch. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  54. ^ "Uncovered: Wiley Nickel is Tucker Carlson's cousin". Carolina Journal -. July 19, 2023.

External links

North Carolina Senate
Preceded by Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 16th district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 13th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 26 April 2024, at 14:15
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