AP

North Carolina swing district may affect control of US House

Nov 7, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 2:13 am

FILE - Wiley Nickel, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, spe...

FILE - Wiley Nickel, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, speaks he won his primary race in Raleigh, N.C., on May 18, 2022. Nickel faces Republican Bo Hines for the seat on Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown, File)

(AP Photo/Ben McKeown, File)


              FILE - Republican state Sen. Chuck Edwards speaks at a Republican candidate debate in Asheville, N.C., on April 12, 2022. Party nominee Edwards faces Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and a third-party candidate on Nov. 8, 2022 for the state's 11th Congressional District seat. (Angela Wilhelm/The Asheville Citizen-Times via AP, File0
            
              FILE - Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara speaks in Asheville, N.C., on Oct. 14, 2011. Beach-Ferrara faces Republican Chuck Edwards and a third-party candidate in seeking the state's 11th Congressional District seat. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)
            
              FILE - Sandy Smith, Republican candidate for for North Carolina's 1st Congressional District, speaks to the crowd at former President Donald Trump's rally on Sept. 23, 2022, in Wilmington, N.C. Smith faces Democrat Don Davis in the race. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)
            
              FILE - Bo Hines, Republican candidate for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, speaks at former President Donald Trump's rally in Wilmington, N.C. on Sept. 23, 2022. Hines faces Democrat Wiley Nickel in the Nov. 8, 2022 general election. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)
            
              FILE - Wiley Nickel, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, speaks he won his primary race in Raleigh, N.C., on May 18, 2022. Nickel faces Republican Bo Hines for the seat on Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Central to Democrats’ fight to fend off a red wave in the U.S. House is North Carolina, home to multiple districts with a slight political lean and one high-profile swing district that analysts have called a national bellwether for partisan control of Congress.

North Carolina Republicans held eight seats heading into this year, and Democrats held five. But several districts in this election cycle bear little resemblance to their previous iterations after a lengthy redistricting battle scrambled the state’s congressional map to account for the new fourteenth seat it was awarded following the 2020 census.

North Carolina’s lone swing district in the Raleigh suburbs, the closely watched 13th District, shares no common ground with its previous form about 100 miles (161 kilometers) to the west. Its recent relocation has situated the state’s marquee race between Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel and Republican political newcomer Bo Hines in uncharted territory for both parties.

A panel of three judges established the existing congressional map after it declared the Republican-controlled legislature’s proposed boundaries constituted unlawful partisan gerrymandering. The map will only be used for the 2022 election and will be redrawn by the General Assembly for 2024. Analysts say it favors Republicans in seven of the state’s 14 districts, and favors Democrats in six.

Regarded as one of the nation’s few battlegrounds for congressional control, the race for the 13th District pits a well-known Democratic state lawmaker and criminal defense attorney against a 27-year-old GOP upstart with former President Donald Trump’s backing. The two have spent the campaign cycle accusing the other of extreme views while trying to paint themselves as moderate enough to represent the district’s urban, suburban and rural constituents between Raleigh and Goldsboro.

In the right-leaning western mountain counties of the 11th district, Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is taking on Republican state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn in the state’s May primary after he served just one term on Capitol Hill.

The district includes the progressive arts hub of Asheville tucked between many of the state’s deep red mountain towns bordering Tennessee and Georgia. Beach-Ferrara, a two-term Buncombe County Commissioner, ordained minister and nationally recognized LGBTQ activist, is running to become the state’s first out LGBTQ person elected to a federal office.

In the northeast corner of the state along the Virginia border, Republicans are eying the redrawn 1st District as a potential pickup. A longtime Democratic stronghold, represented by retiring Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield since 2004, the 1st District now hosts a competitive race for the open seat Butterfield is vacating.

The outgoing congressman endorsed Democratic state Sen. Don Davis — a former Air Force officer, minister and former mayor of Snow Hill, North Carolina — as his successor. Davis faces Republican Sandy Smith, a Trump-endorsed business executive, who aims to flip the seat red after failing to do so in 2020, when she lost to Butterfield.

And in the new left-leaning 14th District, based in western Charlotte, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson faces Republican businessman Pat Harrigan. Both are military veterans who served in Afghanistan. Harrigan now runs a company in Burke County that manufactures handguns and semiautomatic rifles.

Political analysts, such as David McLennan of Meredith College in Raleigh, say nationwide redistricting efforts gave Republicans a clear advantage heading into the midterms. “But it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been,” he said, noting that North Carolina had greater court intervention in its redistricting process than in many other states. He expects Democrats will be unable to hold their ground in the House, even with big wins in North Carolina.

“The net gain for Democrats is not going to be significant in North Carolina, but they’re not going to lose too much either,” McLennan said. “Even if Nickel were to win, and Don Davis wins in the 1st Congressional District and Jeff Jackson wins in the 14th Congressional District, it’s not going to protect the Democrats from, I think, losing control of the House.”

___

Hannah Schoenbaum is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow her on Twitter at @H_Schoenbaum.

___

Follow AP’s election coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections

Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

climate change...

Associated Press

2 lawsuits blame utility for eastern Washington fire that killed man and burned hundreds of homes

Two lawsuits have been filed against an electric utility for allegedly sparking a fire in eastern Washington that killed a man and burned approximately 240 homes.

1 day ago

Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

2 days ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

3 days ago

FILE - The Amazon logo is displayed, Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon's profitable clo...

Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices

3 days ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

3 days ago

Image: Actor David McCallum attends an event for "NCIS" during the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Fest...

Associated Press

David McCallum, star of hit series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘NCIS,’ dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular "NCIS," has died. He was 90.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

North Carolina swing district may affect control of US House