RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) – Nearly all state House and Senate members who represent counties in southeastern North Carolina in the General Assembly plan to run for reelection in 2022. With the candidate filing period for those legislative offices opening on December 6, 2021, WECT reached out to the current lawmakers to check on their plans.
Rep. Carson Smith (R-Pender) indicated he will run for another term representing District 16 in the state House of Representatives. Smith’s district changed significantly in the recent redistricting process. In the previous 2020 election, the district included all of Pender County and about 30,000 people in eastern Columbus County. The plan in place for the 2022 election includes all of Pender County, and about 30 thousand people in northwestern Onslow County.
Another split district has big changes in the new redistricting plan. Rep. Brenden Jones (R-Columbus) plans to run for reelection in the 46th district. The new district includes all of Columbus County, along with a horseshoe-looking section of eastern, southern and western parts of Robeson County. In the previous election, Jones’ district had more residents from Robeson County than in Columbus County. In the new layout, the district has about 50,000 people from Columbus County and around 33,000 from Robeson.
Rep. Charlie Miller is going to run for a second term in District 19, which is split over the eastern part of New Hanover County and the western section of Brunswick County. The new redistricting plan for District 19 includes about 47,000 people from Brunswick County and around 44,000 from New Hanover County, including Carolina and Kure Beaches. That represents an additional 19,000 people from Brunswick County, and about four thousand fewer in New Hanover County from the 2020 election.
Rep. Frank Iler (R-Brunswick), Rep. Deb Butler (D-New Hanover) and Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) all indicated they plan to run for reelection. Their districts remained largely unchanged. Rep. Iler’s 17th District covers the northern and western sections of Brunswick County. Rep. Butler will run once again in the 18th district in northern New Hanover County, while Rep. Davis’s 20th district will once again include Wrightsville Beach and eastern-most New Hanover County.
You can see the new map for all of the state House of Representatives seats by clicking here.
The new redistricting plan for the state Senate also includes significant changes. In the recently-approved plan, most of New Hanover County is in District 7. with the exception of about 13,000 people in the northwestern part of the county. This is the area currently designated as District 9, and represented by Sen. Michael Lee (R-New Hanover). Sen. Lee says he plans to run again in 2022.
Sen. Danny Earl Britt also plans to run for reelection in 2022. His current 13th District covers all of Columbus and Robeson counties. Those two counties are in different districts in the new map. Robeson County will be in the new 24th district along with Scotland and Hoke counties. Sen. Britt says he will file to run in this district.
Columbus County is now included with Brunswick County in the new 8th District, which will also include the small section of New Hanover County not included in District 7. Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) currently represents District 8 that includes all of Brunswick, Bladen and Pender counties, and the small section of New Hanover. Sen. Rabon did not respond to WECT’s inquiry on whether he plans to run for reelection in 2022.
The new map for the 2022 election puts Pender and Bladen counties in the new District 9, along with all of Sampson, Duplin and Jones counties. In the current map, Sampson and Duplin counties are in the district seats held by Sen. Brent Jackson (10th) and Sen. Michael Lazzara (6th).
The filing period for legislative candidates runs from Monday, December 6, 2021 to Noon on Friday, December 17, 2021. The primary election for these seats is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
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