Rowan, Stanly could become district without incumbent

Published 1:25 am Monday, August 21, 2017

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — Last week, local Republicans appointed Davie County attorney Dan Barrett to the 34th District N.C. Senate seat, but it’s unlikely he will continue representing Rowan County after 2018.

Rowan and Stanly counties would become a state Senate district without an incumbent, according to maps posted Sunday evening to the N.C. General Assembly’s website. The maps come in response to a federal court ruling that 19 N.C. House Districts and nine N.C. Senate districts are racial gerrymanders.

The maps mark a major change from Rowan County’s current representation. The 25th District contains much of southern Rowan. A larger portion of the county sits in the 34th District. Republicans from three counties just appointed Barrett to fill the 34th District seat vacated when Andrew Brock was appointed to the State Board of Review. Businessman Tom McInnis, a Republican, represents the 25th District.

Neither Barrett nor McInnis would represent any portion of Rowan County under the maps posted Sunday evening.

The new maps show Rowan County having a single state senator who represents Rowan and Stanly counties. The district would be numbered 33. No incumbent senator lives within the boundaries of the district.

Sen. Cathy Dunn, a Republican from Davidson County, currently represents the 33rd District. The new maps show Dunn’s district number changing, but the area she represents would remain the same.

The maps are not final. The N.C. General Assembly can still tweak the districts. Maps also need to be presented to federal judges.

Unless a special election is ordered, new maps would take effect in time for the 2018 election.

To the north of Rowan, Barrett would be double-bunked — placed in the same district — with Sen. Joyce Krawiec, a Republican from Forsyth County. It’s unclear what Barrett’s plans would be if the maps posted Sunday evening become final.

McInnis would remain in the 25th District. In the new maps, his district loses Stanly County and part of Rowan County. His district gains Moore County.

McInnis is not double-bunked with another senator.

To the west, Iredell and Yadkin counties would become part of a Senate district without an incumbent.