Dubbing the maps a “fair and legal” alternative to those proposed by the ruling Republican Party, Democrats in the General Assembly have released their own proposals for redrawing congressional and state senate districts. The plan would keep Asheville in the 11th congressional district, instead of dividing it with the 10th.
In this edition of Local Matters—the Xpress weekly news podcast—reporters Jake Frankel and Christopher George discuss the growing controversy over the redistricting of WNC, the possible hate-crime assault on Luke Hankins and the arrest of local musician Juan Holladay.
Posted on by Christopher George, David Forbes and Jake Frankel
Take a tour of the controversial proposed dividing line between North Carolina’s 10th and 11th Congressional Districts with Xpress reporters Jake Frankel and David Forbes. The proposed line would divide Asheville, placing most of the city in the 10th District (currently represented by Republican Patrick McHenry of Hickory), while leaving some portions in Democrat Heath Shuler’s 11th District.
The proposed legislative redistricting plan for the state of North Carolina would split Buncombe County into two parts: the eastern segment (including the city of Asheville) would join the 10th District while the western part of the county would remain in the 11th District with the other mountain counties. Splitting the Buncombe County electorate would […]
The latest congressional district proposal from the General Assembly strips more of Buncombe County from its longtime home in the 11th – currently represented by Democrat Heath Shuler — and puts it in the 10th – currently represented by Republican Patrick McHenry.
About 20 Western North Carolina residents shared their views on the N.C. General Assembly’s House and Senate redistricting proposals at a July 18 public hearing at A-B Tech. The vast majority of them lambasted the House proposal as GOP gerrymandering designed to give Republicans an electoral edge at the expense of Democratic candidates and voters. Here’s a sampling of the people who came out and their views. Photo by Jonathan Welch
In response to proposed Statehouse districts released July 13 that place Democratic Reps. Susan Fisher and Patsy Keever in the same district, both are urging supporters to speak out against the plan at a July 18 public hearing at A-B Tech. If passed, the plan would potentially pit the two colleagues against each other in a primary next year to represent a newly drawn 114th that encapsulates most of Asheville.
Released mid-evening, July 12, the new House districts proposed by GOP-led N.C. Redistricting Committee isolate Asheville as its own district, which could pit the two local Democrat delegates — Rep. Susan Fisher (currently representing District 114) and Rep. Patsy Keever (currently representing the 115th) — against each other and make it easier for a Republican to win the 115th. Under the proposal, the new District 115 would omit Asheville and be made up mostly of east Buncombe County. The new 116th House District, currently represented by Republican Tim Moffitt, would cover the entire western half of Buncombe County.
Around 50 Western North Carolina residents signed up to speak at the July 7 public hearing at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium about General Assembly’s proposed Congressional redistricting map, and overwhelmingly, those residents spoke out against the proposal. Many expressed concerns that under the proposal most of the City of Asheville would be removed from its long-held position in the heart of the state’s 11th district and placed instead in the 10th, a move some speakers labeled gerrymandering.
The proposed North Carolina Senate redistricting maps grow Democratic Sen. Martin Nesbitt‘s 49th District to encompass most of Buncombe County. Republican Sen. Tom Apodaca‘s 48th District meanwhile, loses Polk County but gains Transylvania. His district also expands slightly to include all of Henderson County and part of southern Buncombe.
Posted on by Margaret Williams, David Forbes, Jake Frankel and Christopher George
In this edition of Local Matters—the Xpress weekly news podcast—reporter David Forbes talks about the recent removal of newspaper boxes by the County and the recent announcement of candidates for Asheville City Council, and reporters Christopher George and Jake Frankel talk about the heated meetings around the new congressional redistricting plan. Hosted by News Editor Margaret Williams.
With the controversy over redistricting hotter than the summer temperatures, renewed furor over the state legislative districts will have to wait a day. News 14 Carolina reports that the assembly won’t release the proposed district maps today, but tomorrow, July 12.
“Insane.” “Biased.” “Cynical.” Those are just a few of the words outraged Western North Carolina residents used during a July 7 public hearing to describe a proposal to move most of Asheville to the 10th Congressional District, leaving roughly two-thirds of Buncombe County in the 11th District. With tears in her eyes, Athena Blakely said her severely autistic children divide their time between her home and an alternative family living center that the new maps would place in a different district from her home. Cecil Bothwell (left) and Lindsey Simerly (right) listened to her tell her story. Photo by Jonathon Welch
From 3 to 9 p.m. today, July 7, North Carolina’s Joint House/Senate Committee on Redistricting will be held at multiple sites in the state, including A-B Tech’s Asheville campus, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee and Appalachian State in Boone. Registration to speak will begin at each site at 2 p.m. The proposed districts pull the central and southeastern part of Buncombe — including most of Asheville — into the 10th District, currently represented by Congressman Patrick McHenry, Republican.
Once every 10 years, state legislators get a chance to redraw congressional districts. After their historic gains last November, North Carolina Republicans get a go at the process for the first time in more than 100 years. And in the maps they’ve released today, July 1, many Asheville voters have been stripped out of the 11th Congressional District that Democrat Heath Shuler represents and moved to the 10th, currently represented by Republican Patrick McHenry.
Posted on by Margaret Williams, David Forbes and Jake Frankel
In this edition of Local Matters—the Xpress weekly news podcast—reporters David Forbes and Jake Frankel discuss the recent announcement about the purchase of the former Volvo plant in South Asheville by Buncombe County as part of an incentive deal to bring the Linamar manufacturing company to the city. Hosted by News Editor Margaret Williams.
Tony Basilio, host of the The Edge radio program on WVLZ radio in Knoxville, TN, is reporting that Western North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler is considering taking a job as the athletic director of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he gained national attention as a top quarterback in the early 1990s. What do you think? Does this seem like a job that Rep. Shuler would potentially leave his congressional seat for?
The state House of Representatives passed Republican Rep. Tim Moffitt‘s bill to expand the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners from five to seven members and mandate district representation in place of the current at-large elections. The bill would institute this change without a local referendum.