Map of Congress of North Carolina that assists the GOP in securing Senate panel approval


RALEIGH, NC (AP) – Republicans in North Carolina on Monday put forward a proposal for a Congressional district map for the next decade that, if passed, would likely allow the GOP to more easily increase the number of candidates in the State heading towards Capitol Hill.

A Senate committee voted across parties for a redistribution plan that reflects population gains recorded in the 2020 census that gave North Carolina an additional seat, its 14th overall.

The Senate Congress plan will be debated in plenary on Tuesday. This would put Republicans in a strong position to win 10 of 14 seats from the 2022 election, according to Senate Democrats and map analyzes such as the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. Any congressional map should receive the approval of the State House and Senate.

GOP leaders hope to give final approval to the Congress and General Assembly lines by the end of the week. A House committee on Monday night approved a state House card that would likely help Republicans maintain their majority in that chamber. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s veto power does not apply to redistribution cards.

Although Senators forbade themselves from formally using partisan data such as voter registration or past election results to create a new map, Democrats argued that it was evident that the limits of Congress had been drawn for the sake of partisan advantage. North Carolina is one of the few states where Republican seat gains could help the party regain a majority in the U.S. House in 2022.

Mitchell County Republican Senator Ralph Hise and co-author of the Congress map, told reporters he had not looked at partisan data to gauge political results. He said the map meets other criteria well by downplaying the overall number of counties divided between districts and municipalities divided.

It is “a huge achievement that we were able to accomplish,” said Hise. “And I think it best meets the criteria of anything that is submitted or reviewed by the committee.”

Of the state’s current 13 seats, Republicans now hold eight, two fewer than after the 2018 election, after which state judges said the lines of the House of States map United were probably overly partisan and unconstitutional. They were redesigned, leading to the 2020 election victories of Democrats Kathy Manning and Deborah Ross.

If the card were approved by the General Assembly, Manning’s return to Congress would appear difficult. Its present district contains all of Guilford County. Instead, Senate Republicans want to divide Guilford into three districts, which would likely all favor a Republican candidate. Although members of Congress only need to live in the state they wish to represent, Manning’s residence is drawn to the same Northwestern District as GOP Representative Virginia Foxx of Watauga County. .

Democrats cited dividing Guilford, Wake and Mecklenburg counties into three districts each as a way to dilute the political power of Metropolitan Democrats by placing them in districts with Tory voters. They said the state congressional delegation should reflect the closely divided nature of statewide elections.

“It’s no coincidence that it’s only in urban areas that you subject these counties to this kind of treatment,” Wake County Senatorial Minority Leader Dan Blue told fellow Republicans. “This kind of extreme sweeping effort just takes (lawmakers) out of the process” if the courts get involved again in the North Carolina redistribution, he added.

In a statement, Manning said the proposed lines are “not a reflection of the best interests of North Carolinians, but rather an offer to the National Republican Party.” She did not mention whether she would run in 2022 if the card was adopted.

The Republican majority on the committee rejected a competing card from Democratic Senator Ben Clark of Hoke County that would have generated more politically competitive districts – likely giving Democrats the chance to win at least six seats. The plan would also have kept Guilford County in one district and limited Wake and Mecklenburg to two districts.

The Senate Congress plan would also have Democratic Representative Alma Adams and Republican Representative Dan Bishop living in the same Democratic-leaning district in Charlotte. Bishop said later on Monday via text message that he would move to an adjacent GOP-trending district where no incumbents currently live and would show up for that seat if the card is implemented.

The map would also create open seats in one district covering part of Charlotte and pointing west, another in five counties south of Raleigh and a third in part of Guilford and pointing south.

Litigation is looming over all GOP districts that will ultimately be approved. The state NAACP, Common Cause and several voters have already gone to court. They sued last Friday, asking a judge to block the legislative constituency draw without first examining racial data to ensure the constituencies are in compliance with federal voting rights law.

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