Final redistricting plan will realign Dare County

By on July 28, 2011

Dare is in a reshaped state House District 6.

The final re-districting proposals from Raleigh are settled, and Dare County will see some changes if the new maps pass federal scrutiny.

Dare County was bounced around through several revisions of the state house maps. Currently Dare is in State House District 2, which also includes Washington, Hyde, and Chowan counties.

The first iteration from the General Assembly’s House re-districting committee placed Dare in District 3, with Hyde and Pamlico. Many observers felt this change would give the new district a decidedly Republican tilt.

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Three amendments later, the House passed today “Lewis-Dollar-Dockham 4” (named for the three primary sponsors and co-sponsors) which now places Dare in District 6, grouped with Hyde, Washington and the northern section of Beaufort.

Democrat Tim Spear is the 2nd District representative. His Republican opponent in the last election, Bob Steinburg, is from Chowan County and would no longer be in the same district.

Dare is now in state House District 2.

Over on the Senate side, the plan keeps Dare in District 1, with some slight changes. Currently District 1 is comprised of Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrrell, and Washington.

The new district drops Tyrell and Washington while adding Gates and Perquimans.

Democrat Stan White was appointed earlier this year to replace Marc Basnight as the District 1 senator.

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For the U.S. House of Representatives, Dare is set to remain in District 3, a sprawling, choppy district that includes all of Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Carteret, Jones, Onslow, Pender, Tyrell, Currituck and Camden, along with pieces of Gates, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, Martin, Pitt, Greene, Craven and even a tiny corner of New Hanover.

Republican U.S. Rep. Walter Jones is the 3rd district congressman.

While not subject to gubernatorial veto, the nes maps must pass muster with the federal government so as not to violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Republicans made some final changes after Democrats charged the new congressional districts carved out minority populations, thus diluting their voting strength.

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The revised plan, Republican leaders claim, complies with state and federal law and actually made the situation worse for Democrats as some incumbents now find themselves in the same district.

Political observers have noted that the GOP could pick up as many as four new congressional seats if the maps are approved by the federal government. Democrats currently hold seven of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts.

The last time districts were re-drawn, in 2000, Democrats controlled both houses of state government and were charged by Republicans with gerrymandering districts to favor Democrats.

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