The North Carolina State Legislature Wednesday approved a new congressional map expected to help Republicans gain three seats in the House of Representatives.
North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper cannot take action preventing the congressional map from becoming law.
🚨New: The North Carolina's congressional map has passed through the NC House and the NC Senate. The map is now law. The Governor can't veto it because redistricting plans in North Carolina are not subject to veto by the Governor. pic.twitter.com/t98MAqH5u2
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) October 26, 2023
The state’s congressional delegation is currently split 7-7.
However, the newly-drawn map reportedly favors Republicans in 10 out of 14 House seats.
Mainstream media outlets and Democrats accused the Republican-led legislature of gerrymandering the districts.
Republicans in North Carolina approved a heavily gerrymandered congressional map on Wednesday that is likely to knock out about half of the Democrats representing the state in the House of Representatives, ensuring GOP dominance in a closely divided state. https://t.co/tdSQ3ppASq
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 26, 2023
The map, approved a week after it was first unveiled, could help Republicans retain – or potentially grow – their majority in the chamber where they have a slender advantage. The recent convulsions over the selection of the next House speaker in Washington underscore the perils of the party’s razor-thin majority.
The North Carolina House approved a plan that favors Republicans in 10 of the state’s 14 House seats. Three seats favor Democrats, and one – now held by Democratic Rep. Don Davis in a rural northeastern reach of the state – would become friendlier turf for Republicans but remain competitive for both parties. The state Senate had approved the new lines a day earlier.
Currently, the state’s congressional delegation is split 7-7 between the political parties, under temporary lines imposed by a court that applied only to the 2022 election. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, does not have veto power over redistricting legislation.
The redistricting process in North Carolina, where Republicans hold supermajorities in the state legislature, was expected to produce big gains for the GOP. It’s one of nearly a dozen states where legal and political skirmishes over congressional map-drawing have raged as each party jockeys for an edge ahead of the 2024 election.
“Before being redistricted out of North Carolina’s 6th congressional district, I had the privilege of representing the people of central North Carolina. With the new congressional maps, we’ve been overwhelmed with the support from North Carolina to DC. Here’s my statement on the decision to make my return run for North Carolina’s 6th district,” former Rep. Mark Walker said.
Before being redistricted out of North Carolina’s 6th congressional district, I had the privilege of representing the people of central North Carolina. With the new congressional maps, we’ve been overwhelmed with the support from North Carolina to DC. Here’s my statement on the… pic.twitter.com/LpjkQtwKGA
— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) October 25, 2023
“Democrats say the maps are gerrymandered, and they are likely to end up in the courts, where Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Newton of Cabarrus County predicted they will be upheld as ‘fair and legal,'” The News & Observer wrote.
More from The News & Observer:
Redrawn maps shift several districts for currently serving members of Congress and the General Assembly. Some lawmakers’ districts will make it more difficult for them to win reelection.
In the state Senate, Raleigh Democratic Sen. Lisa Grafstein and Sen. Jay Chaudhuri were placed in the same district, or “double-bunked.” Chaudhuri is the Democratic whip and has served more than four terms in the Senate, while Grafstein is a freshman. Grafstein previously told The News & Observer that she might move to a new southern Wake County district without an incumbent, and would make a final decision on Thursday.
Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, a Raleigh Democrat, said during debate on Wednesday that the loss of Grafstein also means that the only LGBTQ+ and Jewish senator was targeted in the new maps, and that losing Grafstein and Sen. Natasha Marcus would mean two fewer women in the Senate.
Marcus, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, was drawn into a district that double-bunks her with Republican Sen. Vickie Sawyer in a district that favors a Republican.
In the House, Republicans redrew a district for Rep. Tricia Cotham, who was elected as a Democrat in 2022 and switched parties earlier this year. Her new district favors a Republican candidate. House Redistricting Chair Destin Hall acknowledged in committee on Thursday, while being questioned by Marcus, that the district was drawn to favor Cotham’s reelection.