Ross, Martin to battle in primary

Posted February 8, 2012

Two Raleigh lawmakers will square off in May's Democratic primary.

Incumbent Representatives Grier Martin and Deborah Ross were drawn into the same district in new Republican voting maps approved last year.

Drawing districts to include two incumbents is known as "double-bunking." It's a practice generally used to force one of the two incumbents to retire, and it usually works. For example, Minority Leader Joe Hackney retired rather than face a primary against Orange Dem Verla Insko, and Buncombe Democrat Patsy Keever chose to run for Congress rather than battle fellow Democrat Susan Fisher. 

But in this case, both Ross and Martin confirm they're running for re-election to the House in 2012.

The two Democrats are longtime friends with similar backgrounds. Both are attorneys, and Martin has served four terms in the state House, while Ross is in her fifth.

There's one other double-bunking that could result in a primary fight. Democrats Pricey Harrison and Maggie Jeffus were drawn into the same House district in Greensboro. Harrison confirms she's running for re-election to the House. Jeffus says she'll decide whether to challenge Harrison in the next few days.   

Candidate filing opens Monday. The primary is May 8th.


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