Bigger isn’t better

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Tuesday, the Redistricting Committees of the North Carolina General Assembly released, as promised, the full statewide map outlining the proposed new boundaries of our state’s legislative districts.

As expected, the urban areas of the state made significant gains in representation in both the State House and State Senate. The three most populated areas of the state – Wake County, Mecklenburg County and the Triad (Guilford and Forsyth counties) will combine for just over 25 percent of the number of State Senators (50 statewide). Over in the State House, Wake and Mecklenburg will combine for 23 representatives in that 120-member branch of government.

As expected, the rural areas of the state continue to note little or no growth in population. Thusly, the size of the legislative districts must expand to account for the minimum number of constituents represented by each legislator.

As expected, the Roanoke-Chowan area is losing its current State Senator, Ed Jones of Enfield. His proposed new District will encompass all of Halifax, Warren and Vance and portions of Nash and Wilson counties.

As expected, our little corner of the state will blossom into an eight-county Senate district – Bertie, Hertford and Northampton will join Edgecombe, Martin, Chowan, Washington and Tyrrell to comprise District 3, currently represented by Clark Jenkins, a five-term Democrat from Tarboro.

Senator Jones did, in our opinion, a good job of representing the interests of the R-C area. He was very involved in community affairs and projects. He was fair; he was honest; he was straightforward in what he could and could not do in Raleigh.

Now we’re faced with uncertainty. We’ve never been in a Senate District where we’re outnumbered by non-Roanoke-Chowan area counties and we’re losing Gates in this current proposal (shifting to Senate District 1).

As expected, we may be losing what little political clout we gained through Senator Jones.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald