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It’s Friday, state lawmakers’ process of drawing once-in-a-decade North Carolina state legislative and congressional districts is coming to an end, and my colleague Will Doran has been reporting every step of the process.
His reporting has been vital for the state and the country, because North Carolina has been called “the swingiest of states.” And what happens in North Carolina’s congressional races could determine whether Republicans take back control of the U.S. House.
The outcome of state legislative races is even more important and will impact the day-to-day lives of North Carolinians. The party that wins the majority in each chamber could determine whether, and how, to expand Medicaid, fund K-12 education and address social issues, like abortion.
How the districts are drawn will have a large influence on what party gets to make those decisions in the next decade.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest on North Carolina’s redistricting process:
Members of the public were given an opportunity to comment on proposed maps this week. Two top legislative Democrats suggested during one of those hearings that Republicans secretly hired a political consultant to draw the maps for them, which would be against the criteria the legislature established for the map-drawing process. A top Republican flatly denied that.
So far, every proposed congressional district map includes a seat House Speaker Tim Moore could run in and nearly all would be incumbent-free — a sign that rumblings of his plans to run for Congress may end up being true.
And a lingering question still looming over the redistricting process: Will white people vote for Black politicians?
To make sense of redistricting, I regularly check Will’s author page for all the latest stories he’s written on redistricting and beyond, and keep an eye on his Twitter page for interesting tidbits that might make it into a news story, breaking news and beyond.
Speaking of redistricting: The other redistricting expert in our newsroom is my coworker, Tyler Dukes, who launched a special edition of our Under the Dome podcast called Monster: Math, Maps and Power in North Carolina. It’s about the redistricting process in North Carolina, and I’ve learned so much from it. I know you will too.
We also have a plethora of episodes about the latest and greatest stuff happening in #ncpol, so check out the show.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Incoming NC lawmaker was at Jan. 6 US Capitol protests, riot, from WRAL’s Travis Fain.
Republican Rep. Clampitt says he’s been an Oath Keeper since 2014, Blue Ridge Public Radio reported.
NC Lt. Gov. Robinson says he’s ‘95% sure’ he will run for governor, CBS17 reports.
MORE BIG STORIES FROM THE TEAM
The federal government is forging ahead in its plan to build offshore wind turbines along the Brunswick County coast, Adam Wagner reports.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said a budget agreement could be reached in days, and Gov. Roy Cooper is ‘hopeful,’ Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan reports.
In an exclusive interview with Adam Wagner, EPA administrator Michael Regan explained why ‘forever chemicals’ won’t be regulated all at once.
Should NC local governments be able to ban natural gas in buildings? Adam Wagner reports on a bill that says no.
A report released by North Carolina’s state treasurer shows hospitals in the state reap more in profits while serving fewer of the state’s poorest residents, I reported.
Thanks for reading. See you next week.
— Lucille Sherman, state government reporter for The News & Observer. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.