New maps drawn for General Assembly seats: Dare has split House district; Hanig running for N.C. Senate

Published 9:48 am Saturday, November 6, 2021

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On Nov. 4, 2021, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted redistricting maps for electing North Carolina representatives and senators and United States representatives.

The adopted map for representatives for the North Carolina House splits Dare County.

The legislation is labeled H 976, 3rd Edition for the House; S739 2nd Edition for the Senate and S740 1st Edition for the 14 Congressional seats. The legislation applies to elections held on or after January 1, 2022.

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The plan for the North Carolina Senate creates a district for the northeastern corner of the state. Included in Senate District 1 are all of the following counties: Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Tyrrell.

On Friday, Nov. 5, current State Rep. Republican Bobby Hanig announced his intention to run for the new North Carolina Senate seat.

In his media release, Hanig is described as “a conservative Republican business-owner serving his second term in the General Assembly . . .”

The incumbent in this district is Ernestine Bazemore, a Democrat from Aulander in Bertie County. She is in her first term.

A map controversy exists for the North Carolina House seat representing Dare County.

NC House District 1 includes all of Chowan, Currituck, Perquimans, Tyrrell, Washington counties and the incorporated Dare County towns of Duck, Southern Shores and Kitty Hawk and 265 blocks in the voting district of Kill Devil Hills.

Current State Representatives Bobby Hanig, a Republican from Powells Point in Currituck County, and Edwin C. Goodwin, a Republican from Edenton in Chowan County, are in this new district. Hanig’s announced Senate run leaves the Republican nomination open for Goodwin.

House District 79 has the 12 remaining blocks of Kill Devil Hills, the rest of Dare County including Avon, Buxton, Chicamacomico, Colington, East Lake, Frisco, Hatteras, Manteo, Manns Harbor, Nags Head, Stumpy Point and Wanchese and all of Beaufort, Hyde and Pamlico counties.

The incumbent in this district is Rep. Keith Kidwell, a Republican from Chocowinity in Beaufort County.

On Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, Robert L. Woodard Sr., chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, sent a letter to State Rep. Destin Hall, who chairs the North Carolina House Standing Committee on Redistricting.

Woodard characterized the legislation as splitting Dare County in half and wrote “we strongly object to that plan and hope that it is not the one finally adopted.” He further wrote “. . . the division of our county as proposed makes it much more difficult, and frankly undermines our efforts over the years to create an engaged and collective ‘one county’ that we have worked so hard to achieve.”

Kill Devil Hills Mayor Ben Sproul also sent a letter objecting to the division of his town. He opposed the plan which would lead to “tremendous vote confusion at the polls.”

Wrote Sproul, “such a redistricting plan could jeopardize decades of local intergovernmental cooperation.” The letter is dated Nov. 3, 2021.

About the split Hanig said, “I tried as hard as I could, but could not get it to work out. I went to every avenue possible.”

Hanig praised the incumbent in the new house district. “Keith Kidwell is a great representative.” Hanig called the presumed 2022 Republican slate of Hanig, Goodwin and Kidwell, “a great contingent in office.”

Senate District 2 includes all of Carteret, Chowan, Halifax, Hyde, Martin, Pamlico, Warren and Washington counties. This district stretches from the Virginia-North Carolina state line (Warren County) to the coast (Carteret and Hyde counties).

Incumbents in this district are Bob Steinburg, a Republican from Edenton in Chowan County, and Republican Norman W. Sanderson, from Minnesott Beach in Pamlico County. Steinburg has confirmed that he intends to run to retain his state Senate seat in the new district. Sanderson could not be reached.

Congressional District 1 has the entirety of Beaufort, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Tyrrell counties. The district has portions of Onslow and Pitt.

Republican Greg Murphy from Greenville is the current congressman.

On Oct. 29, 2021, a lawsuit was filed in Wake County by Southern Coalition for Social Justice on behalf of North Carolina NAACP, Common Cause and four voters. The lawsuit is styled NC NAACP v. Berger, No. 21CV014476.

The legal action was filed before the Nov. 4 General Assembly vote to approve redistricting legislation and maps. The lawsuit filing, which also included a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, alleges that the General Assembly failed to adequately consider racial data.

The 2022 timeline is tight. Candidate filing is scheduled for Dec. 6 through 17, 2021. In the past, the General Assembly has argued that the opening of the filing period precludes judicial review of the voting districts.