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Cornelius News

Up in the air: Courts will decide how redistricting goes

Dec. 16. By Dave Vieser. The 2022 North Carolina primary has been delayed ten weeks to May 17 as a result of a preliminary injunction issued by the state supreme court. The injunction was a response to lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s new political districts as unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.

The three new maps, which cover North Carolina’s 14 seats in the US House of Representatives, 50 seats in the North Carolina Senate and 120 seats in the North Carolina House of Representatives, were passed along party line votes with Republicans in support and Democrats against.

Arguments on the maps before a three judge panel will take place in Wake County Superior Court between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, with closing arguments planned for Jan. 6. The state Supreme Court has directed the panel to render a decision no later than Jan. 11, but the losing side will most likely file an appeal, possibly lengthening the legal action beyond January.

Marcus weighing options

In NC Senate District 41, precinct 202/Town Hall in Cornelius was combined with the two Davidson precincts and then rolled into Senate District 39 with Iredell County. Incumbent Natasha Marcus is unsure whether she will run, since the district would be considered a Republican District.

Natasha Marcus

“The Republicans’ decision to carve up North Mecklenburg and draw me out of my current district was undemocratic and in violation of their own criteria,” said Marcus.

She believes the courts will ultimately reject the new maps because they violate the Voting Rights Act and the NC Constitution. “However, litigation will take time. In the meantime, I am weighing my options for the next election cycle and deciding how I can best serve my constituents.”

If Marcus decides to run, she would face incumbent Republican Vickie Sawyer from Iredell. That potential race has brought mixed reactions from local officials.

Mayor Knox

Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox said his biggest concern is that the lion’s share of this district is comprised of Iredell County, not Mecklenburg.

“Being a neighbor to Mooresville has been something we’ve embraced and there have been and will continue to be many more collaborative opportunities for both of us. However, we are in uncharted waters with our relationship with most of Iredell County, its direction and how this plays out for our town,” Knox said.

13th Congressional District

On the Republican side, the new 13th Congressional District will be the “fun one to watch,” said Republican political analyst Andy Yates. “We have Aneralla, Cawthorn and Bentley thus far.”

John Aneralla is a three-term Huntersville mayor; Matthew Cawthorn currently represents the 11th Congressional District and Karen Bentley is a former county commissioner. If the new district stands the legal review it would run from the Charlotte area westward, including north and west Mecklenburg County, as well as Gaston, Cleveland, Rutherford, Polk, McDowell and Burke counties

Political observers believe it was initially carved out to give NC House Speaker Tim Moore a new district in which to run but in November he announced he would not run for Congress.

NC House District 98

Little local change occurred in the state house districts, so it is business as usual for NC Rep. John Bradford who hails from Cornelius.

November ballot

Besides the usual offices for which elections are held every two years, the ballot next November will include a number of positions which were postponed from this year due to the late arrival of census data, including all positions for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education.