Legislators took final votes Wednesday on new election districts for Congress, the state House, and the state Senate that greatly advantage Republican candidates.
The congressional plan creates 10 solid Republican districts, three strong Democratic districts, and one district that is trending Republican. First-term Democratic US Rep. Don Davis lives in that district.
The existing court-ordered congressional districts, good for one-time use, elected seven Democrats and seven Republicans.
The new map “is not reflective of North Carolina politics,” Rep. Amos Quick, a Guilford County Democrat said Wednesday.
The new plans place Democratic US Reps. Kathy Manning, Wiley Nickel, and Jeff Jackson in Republican districts.
Jackson said in a video last week that he was “toast in Congress.”
The new plans mean major changes for residents throughout the state. Many will likely have new representatives in the US House in 2025.
The state House plan locks in “a sizable majority” for Republicans even in Democratic-leaning elections, according to an analysis by Duke University mathematicians. Under the plan for districts adopted last year, Democrats would have had a chance to win a House majority in years when overall voter sentiment shifted toward Democrats.
House Redistricting Chairman Destin Hall said the House redistricting consultant was instructed to draw Republican-leaning districts where possible.
The House plan helped some incumbents and hurt others.
The House plan creates a Republican district in Mecklenburg where Rep. Tricia Cotham lives. Cotham ran as a Democrat in a heavily-Democratic district last year, but became a Republican after she was elected. The plan makes it a little harder for Rep. Terence Everitt, a Democrat from northern Wake County. House Speaker Tim Moore banished Everitt to a remote basement office after Everitt asked the Wake DA to investigate Moore. Everitt’s redrawn House district is now a little more Republican.
Republicans will keep their supermajority in the state Senate even when the statewide vote for Democrats is greater than 50%, according to the mathematicians’ analysis.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice pointed out a Voting Rights Act violation in the state Senate map.
Republicans maintain they did not have to draw Voting Rights Act districts.
Two outspoken Democratic women were drawn into districts with other incumbents.
Sen. Natasha Marcus of Mecklenburg was drawn into a Republican district that has an incumbent Republican senator. Sen. Lisa Grafstein of Wake County was drawn into a district with incumbent Democratic Sen. Jay Chaudhuri.
Marcus said in a floor speech Tuesday that Republican map-makers took away her constituents’ chance to decide whether she should return for another term.
The legislature has ended its work for at least a month. Legislators will come back to work once a month starting in November, if they have something to do.
The legislative “short session” begins in April.
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