New House maps help two Dems

New House maps to be heard today in the Senate would help two Democrats who voted for veto overrides.

Posted Updated
Rep. Tim Spear
Laura Leslie

The state House and Senate Redistricting committees are each scheduled to take up the other chamber’s maps today. They’re expected to finalize the proposal tomorrow.

House Speaker Thom Tillis said Tuesday changes were being considered in the House map.

“We got these amendments, some of them very complex, and we’re asked to react to them. We’ve taken a lot of those that we did vote down and trying to look at them and see if any of those should have any merit, and should be incorporated,” Tillis said. “So we are looking at that. There were a couple other requests we’re looking at.”

While no new maps were released for Senate districts, the House and congressional plans were both updated Tuesday.

The two districts that appear to have the biggest changes in the new House map are District 6, held by Tim Spear, D-Chowan, and the 66th, held by Ken Goodman, D-Richmond.

House District 6
Under the House new map, Spear’s new 6th district would pick up Hyde and Dare Counties, which were in House 3 in the last plan, but lose a large chunk of Beaufort and all of Craven, which would move to the 3rd District instead.
It’s hard to tell from the map, but it looks as if Spear may no longer be double-bunked with Rep. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, who may now be in the 3rd , in which case Cook would now be double-bunked with Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico. UPDATE 1:09pm: According to the big map, Cook and Spear are still double-bunked - barely.

The new 6th would be about a percentage point more Democrat-friendly, according to the 2008 election results, but McCain would still win it with nearly 56%. However, the change puts Spear back in counties where he’s run before, so it’s definitely a net improvement for him.

House District 66

Under the new plan, Richmond Democrat Ken Goodman appears to trade a large swatch of western Montgomery County for the southern part of the county. The resulting change in the district’s political geography is considerable. In the earlier version of 66, McCain would have beaten Obama by about 5 percentage points according to 2008 election results. In the new 66, it would be a near-tie, with McCain winning by less than half of one percent.

Veto Votes

Both Spear and Goodman voted with Republicans on all three veto overrides Monday. Spear has crossed the aisle before many times - he's voted for every successful veto overrides in the House so far. 

UPDATE: Spear said this morning he hadn't yet seen the map, so he couldn't confirm whether he's still double-bunked or not. But he says the new configuration as described to him makes more sense than its last version. 

However, he categorically denied any connection between his support for recent GOP veto overrides and the improvement in his district map. "Don't even insinuate it," Spear said. "I don't appreciate it." 

Goodman doesn't quite have Spear's track record. But he appears to have had a change of heart on at least one big GOP bill.

Goodman voted against S781 when it first came through the chamber. He also voted against concurrence in conference changes to the bill. But he voted with the GOP to override the governor’s veto of the bill, and even voted for the clincher motion by House Majority Leader Skip Stam – one of only five Democrats to do so.

Proximity doesn’t equal causation, of course. I’ll ask Goodman today why he changed his mind on S781. But it is an interesting coincidence.

UPDATE: Goodman says he changed his mind on S781 after further consideration. And while he said he complained about his district to House leadership, he maintains there was no quid pro quo. 
The new congressional plan makes some adjustments to the line between the 10th and 11th districts in Buncombe County, pulling some territory to the west and south of Asheville into the 10th with the city itself, while putting Arden and half of the town of Royal Pines into the 11th. The change makes the 11th slightly more Republican-friendly, at least according to 2008 presidential election results.

The map also trades off some territory in Greene County between the 1st and 3rd districts, making the 3rd just a hair less Republican, though the 2008 results would still keep McCain voters at over 56% in that district.



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