The 2020 Census showed enough gains in North Carolina for the state to qualify for a new seat in Congress, bringing us from 13 to 14. It’s empirically good for NC — one more voice in Washington, DC — but for state Republicans who control the redistricting process, it’s just another opportunity to marginalize the minority.
On Monday a new Congressional map was approved by the Republican-led state Senate, which is in charge of such things — you should see the map they’re making for themselves, which cuts Guilford County into three separate districts, much of it held by Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger (R), while double-bunking Sens. Gladys Robinson (D) and Michael Garrett (D).
Reminder: The last Congressional map was finally made official after the NC Senate repeatedly lost court cases defending their maps against charges of racial gerrymandering — with, the court noted, “surgical precision.” That map was used exactly once, in 2020. That’s when Rep. Kathy Manning (D) easily won Congressional District 6, which currently holds all three of the big cities in the Triad: Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point. Longtime voters might remember that District 6 was once the territory of legendary Congressman Howard Coble (R), when the district was mostly Guilford and Alamance counties.
The map approved Monday moves District 6 east, taking all of Orange and Durham counties and throwing in Cary from Wake. It’s currently the territory of Rep. David Price (D) who has already announced his retirement, which makes it an open seat.
This new map puts Rep. Manning in District 11, which includes much of northern Guilford County; all of Rockingham, Stokes, Alleghany, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander and Caswell counties; and a bit of Watauga County, just enough to double-bunk Manning with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R).
Yes, in this map, Greensboro and Boone are in the same district, but not Winston-Salem, which exists in District 12, a chain consisting of all of Forsyth, Yadkin, Catwaba and Lincoln counties and the northern half of Iredell. High Point is in District 10, which joins slices of Guilford, Davidson and Iredell counties with Davie, Rowan and Cabarrus, territory ceded to Rep. Ted Budd (R), though he will likely run for Senate in 2022.
These maps have not yet been officially adopted, though there are few barriers left. And a lawsuit has already been filed against them, which should be settled in plenty of time before the next Census, which is in 2030.
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