The GOP’s controversial congressional redistricting proposal passed the North Carolina Senate along party lines July 25. The plan shifts almost all of Asheville’s reliably Democratic voters from the 11th District, currently represented by Democrat Heath Shuler, to the conservative 10th, presently the domain of Republican Patrick McHenry.
Critics say it’s a blatantly partisan move that ignores traditional geographic, cultural and economic boundaries. Democrats released an alternative proposal July 25 before the vote that left Asheville and Buncombe County in the 11th District. However, it was defeated as 29 Republicans voted to pass their own plan, with 17 Democrats voting against it.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, the Senate Redistricting Committee chairman, defend his party’s plan, asserting that it “produced fair, legal and competitive districts that will allow any candidate to run in these districts with the opportunity to win.”
In the House, a bipartisan coalition of local delegates is promising to introduce an amendment to keep Buncombe County in the 11th. However, GOP leaders have said they think they have enough votes for it to pass as proposed. If so, elections data project Republicans could win as many as 10 of the state’s 13 U.S. House seats, including the 11th.
Meanwhile, Democrats are threatening to challenge the proposal in court.
The Republican plan that passed the Senate:
The Democratic plan that was defeated in the Senate: