General Assembly names redistricting committee ahead of lower court order

Rep. David Lewis, Sen. Ralph Hise will be head map creators; Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson will serve as vice chair

Christine T. Nguyen—The North State Journal
Reps. Darren Jackson

RALEIGH — Just before midnight Wednesday, leadership at the North Carolina General Assembly named the lawmakers who will be instrumental in redrafting legislative voting district lines previously thrown out by a federal court for what they deemed were racially gerrymandered maps.The appointments come just before a three-judge federal panel regains jurisdiction on the state’s redistricting case, following the recent rejection of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.While reaffirming the lower court’s ruling, the top U.S. court had asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider their call to urgently redraw the maps and hold a special election before November 2018. However, the final timeline will ultimately be up to the lower court — and could be ordered in the coming days.Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) and Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) will co-chair the committee which will consist of the following legislators:House Vice Chairs: John Bell (R-Wayne), Sarah Stevens (R-Surry), Darren Jackson (D-Wake), John Szoka (R-Cumberland), John Torbett (R-Gaston).House Members: Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford), Justin Burr (R-Stanly), Ted Davis Jr. (R-New Hanover), Jimmy Dixon (R-Duplin), Josh Dobson (R-McDowell), Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), Andy Dulin (R-Mecklenburg), Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D-Wilson), Elmer Floyd (D-Cumberland), Terry Garrison (D-Vance), Rosa Gill (D-Wake), Holly Grange (R-New Hanover), Destin Hall (R-Caldwell), Edward Hanes (D-Forsyth), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston), Julia Howard (R-Davie), Howard Hunter (D-Hertford), Pat Hurley (R-Randolph), Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus), Bert Jones (R-Rockingham), Jonathan Jordan (R-Ashe), Chris Malone (R-Wake), Mickey Michaux (D-Durham), Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg), Garland Pierce (D-Scotland), Robert Reives II (D-Lee), David Rogers (R-Rutherford), Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Michael Speciale (R-Craven), Shelly Willingham (D-Edgecombe), Michael Wray (D-Northampton), Larry Yarborough (R-Granville).Senate Members: Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), Dan Blue (D-Wake), Harry Brown (R-Onlsow), Ben Clark (D-Hoke), Warren Daniel (R-Burke), Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), Brent Jackson (R-Sampson), Michael Lee (R-New Hanover), Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), Erica Smith-Ingram (D-Northampton), Terry Van Duyn (D-Buncombe) and Trudy Wade (R-Guilford).”I appreciate these members’ willingness to serve and their commitment to undertaking a fair and thorough redistricting process with ample notice and opportunities for public input once we receive instruction from the courts,” said Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker Tim Moore (D-Cleveland) in nearly identical press releases sent just two minutes before midnight on Thursday.In the adjournment resolution, lawmakers committed to conduct a redistricting session no later than Nov. 15 to “provide an orderly and fair process to ensure adequate representation for North Carolina voters.”The General Assembly officially gaveled out for the 2017 regular long session in the twilight hours of Friday morning and are scheduled to reconvene on Aug. 3. They could, potentially, address redistricting at that time, while likely overriding any vetoes from Gov. Roy Cooper of end-of-session legislation.