Redistricting - it looks like Beaufort County will get better Senate district | Beaufort County Now | likely - Beaufort, Craven, Lenoir district

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The initial drawing of "clusters" in the redistricting process indicates that Beaufort County will be removed from "the Senate district from hell" that we are now in.  While we are not likely to be reattached to our traditional cohorts to the east, the new district will have counties that we have more in common with and will be a Republican district.

The first step in redistricting, set by the Stephenson case, is to create clusters of counties beginning with those that represent one legislative seat, and for those counties where that is not possible, multi-seat clusters are created.  The latter are then subdivided into districts.  Beaufort County has been placed in a one seat cluster with Craven and Lenoir, meaning that is extremely likely to end up as our Senate district.  One seat clusters need no further division.

Beaufort, Craven, and Lenoir would be a Republican voting district and would contain an incumbent Republican state senator, Jim Perry of Lenoir County, who is a rather liberal Republican.

The House situation is less certain.  Beaufort County has been placed in a large 3 seat cluster with the Albemarle area counties, Washington County, Hyde County, and Pamlico County.  It represents 3 current GOP incumbent House members.  Beaufort would no longer be districted with part of Craven as that county is in a different cluster. Given that the only county Pamlico County is physically attached to within the cluster is Beaufort County, they are likely to be in our new House district.  Additional population with probably be made up from Hyde and or Washington counties as they are the contiguous counties.  Pamlico and Hyde are Republican voting counties, and the western part of Washington County votes Republican.  Beaufort County would have different partner counties in our House district, but it would remain a Republican district.  Hyde County was in our House district for many years a few decades ago, but we have never been in a House or Senate district with Pamlico.

The Joint Redistricting Committee of the N. C. Legislature has yet to complete its work so all we know now is tentative and there surely will be some changes.  We'll watch the Committee's work and keep you informed as this story develops.

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