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Republicans Roll Out Proposed New Legislative Districts

Credit North Carolina General Assembly

Republicans in the North Carolina House on Saturday released a first look at their plan for redrawing district boundaries, as ordered by federal judges.

Lawmakers are drawing new House and Senate maps because federal courts found 28 districts approved in 2011 contained illegal racial gerrymandering.  Redistricting committees agreed not to consider data on the race of voters in redrawing the boundaries.  But under the committees' criteria, lawmakers can take previous election results into account to help maintain political advantage in the redistricting. 

Under the proposed House map, two districts would pit incumbent Republicans against each other, in a scenario known as "double bunking."  Republicans Larry Pittman and Carl Ford would wind up in the same district in Cabarrus and Rowan counties.  The other head-to-head GOP pairing would be in Guilford County.

As for the Senate's proposed map, it includes three districts that would pit two Republican incumbents against each other.  That's according to the NC Insider. One in the western part of the state, another that would include Davie County and part of Forsyth. And a third that includes part of Wake County. Shortly before the maps were released, Republican Chad Barefoot who resides in that district announced he didn't plan to run again. There's another double-bunked district in the northeastern part of the state that would pit a Republican against a Democrat.  Under the plan, four Senate districts would have no incumbent.  One is made up of Rowan and Stanly counties and another of Yadkin and Iredell counties.

Public hearings on the legislative redistricting proposals will be held Tuesday afternoon across North Carolina.  Locations include Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson.   Lawmakers face a September 1 court-ordered deadline to approve new district maps.