GOP leaders release new congressional maps

Posted July 19, 2011

Redistricting committee chairs Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Bob Rucho have released a second draft of proposed new congressional districts.

In a statement released today, Rucho and Lewis explained their changes centered on the 1st and 12th Districts. But because congressional maps have to be zero-deviation - that is, with populations about exactly the same - changes to one district cause ripples across others.  

Here's what jumps out at me in the new map: 

- Two incumbent Democrats are drawn into different districts. Brad Miller would be drawn out of the 13th and into the 4th with Dem. David Price, and Mike McIntyre would be drawn out of the 7th district and into the 8th with Dem Larry Kissell. 

NOTE: Congressional representatives don't have to live in their districts, so this not as problematic as double-bunking at the legislative level, where members DO have to live in them.  Still, it can be a disadvantage, especially if it's by more than a mile or two.

- Butterfield's 1st District would no longer come into Wake County: it goes into Durham instead, and traditional VRA counties Gates, Washington, Beaufort, Craven and Wayne now have some territory in the 1st  (though very little in Beaufort's case).  

- Miller's13th district no longer goes west of Raleigh - it has most of Wake County, mostly outside of Raleigh, then heads mostly east, sharing Franklin Nash, Edgecombe, Wayne and Wilson with Butterfield. It also looks slightly less welcoming to Republicans than the first draft of the district.  

- Ellmers' District 2 shifts sharply west from the first proposal. She'd have Moore, Lee, and parts of Hoke, Randolph, Chatham, Harnett, Cumberland, and a small chunk of southern Wake.

- Wake would go back to having three congressional representatives instead of four. 

- Johnston County would be added to McIntyre's 7th district. It would no longer include Onslow.

- Price's 4th district is pretty tortured. It goes from Alamance and Orange east into the Triangle and south through Chatham, where it barely stays contiguous as it crosses into Harnett and then Cumberland. 

- Watts' 12th looks even skinnier than it did in the first draft, but I'm told that's not the case.

- Coble's 6th shifts back to the Triad area, which will probably make him happier.  

- Asheville remains split between McHenry's 10th and Shuler's 11th, which will probably not make Democrats there happy. Lewis Lewis on congressional map changes

House Redistricting Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, explains some of the changes at right.   


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