By Jim Ellis
March 9, 2022 — Today’s update is the second part of our look at the new North Carolina political map. In this edition, we examine the state’s 14 new US House districts.
Incumbents who look to be in strong position under the new map and won’t get much of a challenge are the following (the rating figure comes from the FiveThirtyEight statistical organization):
- Rep. Deborah Ross (D-Raleigh; D+24)
- Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Greenville; R+29)
- Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk; R+24)
- Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro; D+9)
- Rep. David Rouzer (R-Wilmington; R+16)
- Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Union County; R+38)
- Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Lake Norman; R+43)
- Rep. Alma Adams (D-Charlotte; D+25)
The state will feature four open seats in the 2022 election. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson) is retiring after serving what will be nine full terms, leaving his 1st District as an open seat. Rep. Butterfield complained that the original draw makes the seat less favorable for an African-American candidate to win. The new district increases the black population percentage by a point, to just over 41 percent. The total minority population registers almost 50 percent of the new 1st, with a 49.9 percent number.
Four Democrats filed for the seat, and the leading candidates appear to be state Sen. Don Davis (D-Snow Hill) and ex-state senator and 2020 US Senate candidate Erica Smith. Seven Republicans filed including 2020 nominee Sandy Smith, who held Rep. Butterfield to a 54-46 percent re-election victory, and Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson. FiveThirtyEight rates this seat as D+5, so we can expect the GOP to target this race.
Rep. David Price (D-Chapel Hill) is also retiring. He is completing 17 non-consecutive terms in the House, having lost his seat in the 1994 election after originally coming to the House in the 1986 vote. He returned to Congress in the 1996 election. Eight Democrats are vying for the party nomination and the seat in the May primary.
Since the new 4th is rated D+30, claiming the Democratic nomination is tantamount to winning the general election. The leading candidates appear to be state Sen. Valerie Foushee (D-Carrboro), Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, and country singer and 2014 congressional nominee Clay Aiken.