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G.K. Butterfield

Office District Status
U.S. Representative U.S. House 1 Incumbent
Party In Office Since Term Ends
Democrat 2004 2010
Level of Government  
Congress  
Date of Birth Birthplace Now Lives In
April 27, 1947 Wilson, NC Wilson, NC

Synopsis

G.K. Butterfield is a U.S. representative and a former member of the N.C. Supreme Court. He grew up in Wilson, where his father was the first black member of the City Council in the 20th century. A civil rights lawyer, he served as a Superior Court judge from 1989 to 2001. Gov. Mike Easley appointed him to the N.C. Supreme Court in 2001, but he lost an election to that seat in 2002. Easley then appointed him to the Superior Court. In 2004, he was elected to fill out the term of Rep. Frank Ballance in the First Congressional District, which covers parts of eastern North Carolina. He was re-elected in 2006.

Trivia

During law school, he worked as a ticket agent at the Raleigh-Durham airport

Endorsements

Biography

Marital Status
Divorced
Spouse
Children
Two daughters, Valeisha and Lenai

G.K. Butterfield is a U.S. representative and a former member of the N.C. Supreme Court.

Early Life and Education

George Kenneth Butterfield Jr. was born April 27, 1947, in Wilson, N.C., to George Kenneth Sr. and Addie Davis Butterfield.

His father was the first black member of the City Council in the 20th century; his mother, a second-grade teacher.

He graduated from Charles H. Darden High School in Wilson in 1965.

He earned a bachelor of arts in political science and sociology from N.C. Central University in 1971.

He earned a law degree from N.C. Central in 1974. 

Family

He is divorced. His former wife is state Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield

They are the parents of two daughters, Valeisha and Lenai. 

Religion

He is a lifelong member of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church in Wilson. 

Professional Career 

After law school, Butterfield practiced law in Wilson with Toby Fitch and at times with Quentin Sumner and Jim Wynn as law partners.

All of his former law partners are now judges.

Butterfield worked as a civil rights lawyer, representing poor people with difficult legal problems and handling several voting rights lawsuits in eastern North Carolina.

Political Career 

In 1988, he was elected resident Superior Court judge in the first judicial division. He served in that position until 2001.

In February of 2001, Gov. Mike Easley appointed him to the N.C. Supreme Court.

He lost an election to that seat in 2002. The following year, Easley appointed him to the Superior Court again.

In 2004, he was elected to fill out the term of Rep. Frank Ballance in the First Congressional District, which covers parts of eastern North Carolina.

He was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.

Since 2007, he has served as one of eight chief deputy whips responsible for helping get Democratic members of Congress to follow the party line.

During the 2008 Democratic primary, he was the first member of North Carolina's House delegation to switch his endorsement from John Edwards to Barack Obama and he was one of the most active state politicians campaigning for Obama.

He was an outspoken opponent of the Navy's plan to build an outlying landing field in Washington County. He introduced legislation in 2008 to eradicate bed bugs from hotel rooms.

A watchdog group found that he got the smallest number of earmarks in 2008 spending bills of any North Carolina politician. 

He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Research and reporting by Ryan Teague Beckwith.

Occupation

Attorney







Community Involvement:
Not specified.

Contact Info

U.S. House
413 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
202-225-3101
Wilson Office
216 West Nash St., Suite B, Wilson, N.C. 27893
252-237-9816
Williamston Office
415 East Blvd., Suite 100, Williamston, N.C. 27892
252-789-4939

Education

bachelor of arts
N.C. Central University
Graduated: 1971
juris doctorate
N.C. Central University
Graduated: 1974


Military

Not specified.
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