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The Daily Tar Heel

N.C. House Passes U.S. Congressional Redistricting Plan

After much debate in the House, a Senate committee will discuss the bill Monday, and a final vote could be taken that evening.

The N.C. Senate Redistricting Committee will debate the House proposal Monday. Republican leaders in the Senate say the plan could be voted on by that night.

Much of the House debate over the bill emphasized the 8th district, represented by Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C. The House plan increases the number of Democrats living in the district.

Rep. Thomas Wright, D-New Hanover, House Congressional Redistricting Committee chairman, said he was satisfied with the vote.

"I am pleased that my colleagues in the House knew how important the bill was," Wright said.

He said the bill probably will require some minor adjustments in the Senate. "I trust that our colleagues in the Senate will address those changes," Wright said.

Committee member Rep. Jerry Dockham, R-Davidson, who was one of 14 Republicans to vote for the plan, said the bill met his expectations.

"I voted for the bill," Dockham said. "It looks like we as Republicans came out pretty good."

He said the current seven incumbent House Republicans have fairly secure districts under the new plans.

Dockham also said the House plan represents a large amount of work on behalf of all House members.

"I think we had a good compromise," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Patrick Ballantine, R-New Hanover, a member of the Senate Redistricting Committee, said he is glad the bill finally passed the House, but he is not pleased with all aspects of the bill.

"Clearly (the bill) is gerrymandering," he said. "It's an incumbent protection plan. It will be unlikely that any of the incumbents will be unseated."

But Ballantine said he feels confident Hayes will retain his seat because of his broad support.

Ballantine said a final vote could occur early next week, as soon as Monday night.

Because Democrats have an overwhelming majority in the Senate, Dockham said he expects the House plan to move quickly through committee to a full vote.

Committee member Sen. Charles Albertson, D-Duplin, said he is pleased with the House plan. "I don't anticipate many changes," Albertson said.

Wright said the plan is in the best interest of the state. "All in all, we knew the bill was acceptable and that we should move on."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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