RALEIGH — The new congressional maps for the 13 U.S. House of Representatives districts in North Carolina were approved by a three-judge panel and the filing period for those districts were immediately opened.
“As with all other contests, the congressional filing period will end at noon on Friday, Dec. 20,” the N.C. State Board of Elections stated on Dec. 2, following the ruling.
The new maps were approved after the same three-judge panel ruled that the 2016 congressional maps violated the N.C. constitution early in November.
The filing period for the 2020 elections started at 12 p.m. on Monday. Dec. 2 and runs through 12 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20.
The Fifth District, which Avery, Watauga and Ashe have been in for years, has been radically shifted. The district keeps Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander, Alleghany and a small part of Catawba counties, but shifts southward to encompass Caldwell, Burke, Cleveland, the eastern half of Rutherford and Gaston counties.
The new maps would put Avery into the 11th District with most of Western North Carolina from Polk to Cherokee counties.
“Now that a unanimous, bipartisan court has denied the plaintiffs’ last-minute challenge to the 2019 congressional map and the candidate filing period is open and under way, we can finally put this decade of relentless litigation behind us,” Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Spruce Pine) said in a Dec. 2 statement.
The 11th District is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-Hendersonville) while U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk) represents the Fifth District. Both incumbents remain in their new districts and have restated that they intend to run for re-election in 2020.