@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Wake Dems head off primary fight

Posted February 28, 2012

Rep. Grier Martin said today he won't run against fellow Democrat Deb Ross in a May primary. The two were drawn into the same district in the new GOP-drawn redistricting plan, a plan Martin called "abusive."

Martin said GOP mapmakers "have hit a new low" by targeting women Democrats for elimination. "They've tried to make me part of that plan by doublebunking me with my good friend Deborah Ross," Martin said. "But I am not going to play along with that game, and so I've decided not to run for a fifth term in the House."

The new House 34 is one of the most oddly shaped districts in the state, stretching up like crab claws into North Raleigh. Martin's house is near the center. At its southernmost point, the district boundary carves out a pendant and splits a precinct to pull in Ross's house.  

"I'm mad. I'm not going to be a tool to what they're trying to do here," Martin added. "They wanted to take out an effective female legislator, and I am not going to be an instrument of that kind of abuse." 

"We think, Representative Martin and I, that we've been targeted, so that the legislature will lose young, effective, energetic members from the Democratic party, and we think it's sad." Ross said.  

"We've done a lot for this community, and we're good friends," Ross continued. "And it was intentional to try to pit us against each other, and it was intentional to take advantage of the voters by splitting them in these bizarre ways to create this district."  

Martin contrasted the GOP maps with the Democrat-drawn voting plan for Pender and New Hanover counties he helped draw two years ago. He said it would have been simple for him to have double-bunked veteran Republican Reps. Carolyn Justice and Danny McComas "with the slip of a pen." 

"We chose not to," he said. "We chose to move beyond that game because we recognized that that sort of thing is a disservice to their constituents and to the state as a whole." 

"That's the direction we need to go in. Instead, they've gone not just back to the bad old days, they've gone far beyond it." 

Questioned about how the decision came about, Ross and Martin, longtime friends, called it a "collaborative effort." They said they had been in constant contact about it.

Both Ross, in her fifth term, and Martin, in his fourth, said they'd been approached by party leaders about higher office. Martin had been rumored to be weighing a run for governor or lieutenant governor. But he decided against a statewide race this year. "It takes a considerable amount of effort, time away from your family, that I'm not willing to do at this moment."  

"Sometimes you get a chance to take a break and recharge your batteries and move things in another direction. Politics is a tough business," he added.  

10 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • dorakingmorgan Feb 29, 10:49 a.m.

    Our military personnel will be at a great loss without this great voice.

  • affirmativediversity Feb 28, 4:53 p.m.

    So does this mean that any contest where the Republicans field a female candidate and the Democrats field a male candidate...the male Democratic candidate should remove himself from the ballot?

  • affirmativediversity Feb 28, 4:51 p.m.

    Martin said GOP mapmakers "have hit a new low" by targeting women Democrats for elimination. "They've tried to make me part of that plan by doublebunking me with my good friend Deborah Ross," Martin said

    ------------

    So what you are really saying is...given a choice between a man or a woman, DEMOCRATS will vote for the MAN.

    Hmmmm, interesting that even "a nice guy" like Mr Martin doesn't really believe in allowing, even DEMOCRATIC, voters to make their own choice.

  • Rebelyell55 Feb 28, 4:19 p.m.

    Run for governor, ya got a good chance. At lease Lt. Governor.

  • Chartreuse dog Feb 28, 2:33 p.m.

    I certainly hope he will run for statewide office, or for the U.S. House, in the not too distant future. I admire him for what he's doing. He will be missed in the GA.

  • ljohnson247 Feb 28, 1:46 p.m.

    The Dems doing something this low while in the late night cigar smoked filled backroom, you know not.

  • kodac31 Feb 28, 1:32 p.m.

    Ross is a RADICAL Liberal! She is the one that needs to go home as she doesn't share the values of North Carolinians! She conned you Grier out of your seat!

  • ssi Feb 28, 11:55 a.m.

    Yeah, we Democrats would NEVER do anything like that. We're far above that kind of tactic. We'd NEVER re-draw districts, or do anything else for that matter, to benefit ourselves. NEVER. ;-)

  • catgirl Feb 28, 11:49 a.m.

    "We think, Representative Martin and I, that we've been targeted, so that the legislature will lose young, effective, energetic members from the Democratic party, and we think it's sad." Ross said.

    Uh, girl, you aint "young" anymore. And we are sorry you bullied Martin into this deal. He is a really nice guy, and the voters of District 34 would have preferred him to your abrasive attitude/personality and super liberal ways. You would have lost this race if he had stayed in it.

  • faperrigo Feb 28, 11:36 a.m.

    Very much a gentleman move. However, what is Grier throwing his supporters "under the bus"? The assumption is that his supporters would automatically like Ross?