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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.