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Democrats likely to gain seats under new North Carolina maps

Three North Carolina judges ruled Monday that new congressional district lines approved by the state legislature last month can stand for the 2020 elections, bringing to a close a decade of legal wrangling in one of the nation’s most contentious redistricting fights.
 
The new maps are likely to hand Democrats a net gain of at least two additional seats in Congress. Under the district lines in effect in the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans held 10 of North Carolina’s 13 seats. Under the new version, eight of those seats are likely to elect Republican members of Congress, and five favor Democrats.
 
The three-judge panel ordered the Republican-led state legislature to redraw maps earlier this year. The plaintiffs who initially sued objected to the newest versions, which do not include any substantially competitive districts. But the judges disagreed, siding with the legislature.
 
“The Democratic Party’s scheme to use judges to effectuate a Democratic gerrymander has failed,” said state Sen. Ralph Hise (R), the co-chairman of the Senate Redistricting Committee. After the ruling, he said, “we can finally put this decade of relentless litigation behind us.”
 
Democrats said they would not appeal Monday’s ruling. Filing for congressional districts opened Monday and run until Dec. 20.
 
“North Carolina Democrats will not stop fighting for truly fair maps where voters — not undemocratically-elected politicians — choose their representatives, and we look forward to sending new representatives to Congress who will better reflect our state’s values,” state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a statement.
 
The race to draw new maps set off a flurry of lobbying from incumbent members of Congress who wanted the legislature to save their seats. Several North Carolina sources said Republican incumbents mounted a quiet but determined campaign to woo legislators, some of whom were eyeing opportunities to run themselves.
 
The new maps jeopardize two sitting Republicans who suddenly find themselves in much more Democratic territory.
 
Rep. George HoldingGeorge Edward Bell HoldingHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Lara Trump leading Republicans in 2022 North Carolina Senate poll Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE’s (R) district, based in Wake County, favored President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE by 10 percentage points in 2016. A newly drawn district that removed several rural counties from his area gave Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE 60 percent of the vote in 2016.
 
Holding has not said whether he will run for reelection in 2020, and several prominent Democrats have already signaled they will run.
 
Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerFormer Gov. Pat McCrory enters GOP Senate race in North Carolina Lara Trump leads GOP field in North Carolina Senate race, poll shows Former North Carolina governor set to launch Senate bid MORE (R) also finds himself in a difficult position. His 6th district, based around Greensboro, gave Trump 56 percent of the vote in 2016. The new maps divide the eight counties he represents across four districts, and the redrawn 6th district favored Clinton by a 20-point margin in 2016.
 
Walker signaled he may run for a different seat in 2020, though he said he felt “no pressure to rush a decision” ahead of the December 20 filing deadline. The new maps put about half of Walker’s constituents in a district currently represented by Rep. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddFormer Gov. Pat McCrory enters GOP Senate race in North Carolina 14 Republicans vote against resolution condemning Myanmar military coup Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC MORE (R), a heavily Republican seat that gave Trump 67 percent of the vote in 2016.
 
“I ran for Congress on the promise of people over politics. That promise will not be overridden by hasty judicial action or the calculations of others,” Walker said in a statement.
 
The new boundaries will require other members of North Carolina’s delegation to introduce themselves to new voters.
 
Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxHouse passes bill to prevent violence in health care workplaces House passes bill to combat gender pay gap Republicans argue school accountability waivers overstep Education secretary authority MORE (R) represents a district along the northern border with Virginia that, under the new maps, will stretch south to the South Carolina border. Rep. Patrick McHenryPatrick Timothy McHenryOn The Money: House panel spars over GameStop, Robinhood | Manchin meets with advocates for wage | Yellen says go big, GOP says hold off House panel spars over GameStop frenzy, trading apps Robinhood CEO, regulators to testify at House hearing on GameStop frenzy MORE (R), whose district stretches from the Charlotte exurbs into the Appalachian mountains, will likely run in a district that now includes some of Foxx’s constituents and some of Walker’s constituents.
 
Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE (R) is likely to hold his seat in western North Carolina, though he will have new constituents in parts of heavily Democratic Asheville. The new maps consolidate Asheville entirely in Meadows’s district, after it had been divided between two different seats; Trump won Meadows’s new district with 57 percent of the vote in 2016.
 
North Carolina’s three Democratic members of Congress — Reps. G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldThe Memo: How liberal will the Biden presidency be? Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP CBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief MORE (D), David PriceDavid Eugene PriceAgainst mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations Senate Republicans label Biden infrastructure plan a 'slush fund' MORE (D) and Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsOfficials discuss proposals for fixing deep disparities in education digital divide The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - At 50 days in charge, Democrats hail American Rescue Plan as major win House Democrats call on Biden to fill Postal Service Board vacancies to pave way for ousting DeJoy MORE (D) — do not face significant changes to their district lines. Price, who represents Raleigh, will take in new constituents north of the city, though his district still gave Clinton 65 percent of the vote three years ago.