Override Dems say maps not linked to votes

Two House Democrats whose districts were made more favorable after they voted with GOP leaders say no deals were made for votes.

Posted Updated
Laura Leslie

Two House Democrats who voted with Republicans on veto overrides this week say those votes had nothing to do with improvements to their districts in new House maps unveiled this morning. House Republican leaders also deny any connection.  

Details on the district changes are here.
House 6

Rep. Spear, D-Washington, said moving his district back out to Hyde and Dare makes it more compact. 

“I don’t think Dare and Hyde has anything or very little to do with Pamlico and Craven, the way they had ‘em matched up. And I don’t believe the representative from Pamlico was very pleased with having to travel so far from Pamlico County to northern Dare County in that proposed district.”

Spear would still be double-bunked with Rep. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, under the new map. But the change puts him back into counties in his current district, where he has name recognition and supporters.  

But Spear angrily denies he made any deal with GOP leaders for the district revision. 

“No. No, and don’t even insinuate that. I don’t appreciate that at all,” Spear said.

In a Senate Redistricting hearing on the new maps this afternoon, Rep. David Lewis said the changes to Districts 3 and 6 were made at the request of Rep. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, to make the districts more compact.

“I did not talk to Representative Spear,” Lewis told the committee.

House 66

Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, who voted to override the veto of S781 after voting against the bill when it came through, says he changed his mind about it after those early votes.

“I’ve voted pretty consistently on pro-business issues,” Goodman said today. “When I voted no the first time, I really don’t think had considered all the implications for businesses in this state when I voted against it. Afterward, I talked with people in the biusiness community and decided that the vote was incorrect."

Goodman said he’s not happy with the maps overall, but he’s happy with the changes to his district. “I had complained to some degree that my district was 100 miles long. It makes my district a little more compact.”

His new district is not only more compact, it’s slightly more politically friendly to Democrats. In the last version of the map, McCain would have beaten Obama by five percentage points. In the new version, McCain would win by only one-half a point.

Goodman dismissed those numbers. “I don’t believe that the presidential results reflect the district exactly. Perdue won the [previous] district fairly easily. It IS a little better. Not a huge amount. I’m happy with that.”

Goodman concedes Republicans lobbied him hard on key votes. But he doesn’t think the district was changed because of his cooperation on a few. And he says no deal was made.

“Absolutely not. I did complain about the district, and express some dissatisfaction, but there was no quid pro quo, ‘I’ll do this if you’ll do that,’ not in any way, shape, or form,” Goodman said.

In Senate Redistricting today, Lewis said he had not talked to Goodman about the changes to his district. “I did ask Representative Burr, and he said he felt like Representative Goodman was okay [with it], that it improved the Democratic numbers for that seat. But I had no direct conversation with Representative Goodman.”


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