A set of new voting districts that made it though North Carolina’s General Assembly this week could have some significant repercussions on how Alamance County residents are represented at both the state and the federal levels.
The maps depicting these districts, which were filed by Republican lawmakers last week, have come in response to a recent decision by North Carolina’s state supreme court to stay out of the perennial squabble over how to divide up the state’s electoral representation.
This ruling by court’s current Republican majority has effectively given the GOP-led legislature a nod to redraw the district maps which the state’s supreme court had ordered in 2022 when it was still under Democratic control.
Among the byproducts of this ruling are two competing Congressional district maps that Republicans in the state senate trotted out simultaneously on October 18. These maps were widely expected to give the Republican Party a significant edge in North Carolina’s Congressional delegation, which is presently spit 7-to-7 among the two major parties.
Current Congressional District – Alamance in 4th Congressional District, represented by Democratic Rep. Valerie Foushee
According to a panel of mathematicians at Duke University, who were cited in a recent report in the Raleigh News & Observer, the GOP would pick up between three and four Congressional seats if either of these maps were approved.
In the end, the Republican Party’s majorities in both the state house and the state senate have thrown their collective support behind a Congressional map that shifts Alamance County entirely out of North Carolina’s 4th District, which is currently represented by Democrat Valerie Foushee of Hillsborough.
Under the GOP’s preferred plan, Alamance County will be incorporated into the 9th District, which is the province of Southern Pines Republican Richard Hudson. In addition to Hudson’s home turf in Moore County, the state’s restructured 9th District will also include the entirety of Randolph and Hoke, along with portions of Guilford, Chatham, and Cumberland counties.
New Congressional District – Alamance in 9th Congressional District, represented by Republican Rep. Richard Hudson
The state senate initially accepted this new district map on Tuesday in a party-line vote in which 28 Republicans easily overcame the objections of 18 Democrats. On Wednesday, this same map received the imprimatur of the state house in a 64-40 split that likewise favored the Republican majority.
In a series of separate decisions, the General Assembly has also approved new voting districts for both the state house and the state senate.
In the case of the state senate, the new boundaries will have no discernable impact on Alamance County, which will remain in the 25th district along with the northern reaches of Randolph County. Residents of the 25th are currently represented by Amy Scott Galey, an Alamance County Republican who was elevated to the state senate in 2020.
Alamance County doesn’t emerge entirely unscathed, however, in the General Assembly’s new representational layout for North Carolina’s state house. Although the county, under this plan, will remain split between the state’s 63rd and 64 house districts, the orientations of those districts are almost unrecognizable when compared to their previous iterations.
Current State House Districts 63 & 64
New State House Districts 63 & 64
According to the latest maps available from the state legislature, the 63rd district will continue to include the home of its current representative – Republican Steve Ross of Burlington. But whereas most of Ross’ constituents are presently on the eastern side of the county, the new district lines will give him a significant chunk of the west, stretching from west Burlington to the unincorporated community of Union Ridge.
The new district map also preserves the position of the 64th district’s incumbent representative Dennis Riddle. But like his colleague in the 63rd district, the Snow Camp Republican will have a vastly different area to serve than he does at the moment. According to the General Assembly’s new maps, the 64th’s current hatchet-shaped configuration, which takes in a wide swath from Union Ridge to Saxapahaw, will practically be turned inside out so that it takes in much of Mebane in addition to the county’s southernmost reaches.
The General Assembly’s new state house districts cleared their final legislative hurdle on Wednesday when the state senate accepted the new map by a margin of 27-to-17.
Under state law, none of the General Assembly’s newly approved maps are required to go before North Carolina’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper before they take effect. Even so, the Democratic Party may very well lodge a legal challenge against the new districts – a prospect that Sam Ward, a legislative aide for Galey, was quick to acknowledge when The Alamance News contacted the state senator’s office about the redistricting process.
“Due to the likelihood of litigation,” Ward told a reporter on Tuesday, “Senator Galey is not able to comment about the new district maps.”