WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The debate over redistricting continues. Groups suing over new re-districting maps say the state’s May 8 primary should be delayed until judges decide whether the boundaries are unconstitutional.
“If the election is held in the next couple of months, it’s going to be chaos,” said Jim Morgan, 7th District Democratic Congressional Party Chairman.
Morgan says the problem with the maps is that it will split up counties and be confusing to voters.
“Most people in New Hanover County will not be voting with the people in downtown Wilmington,” he said. “They’ll be voting in the same district as the people in Benson in Johnston County.”
Democrats and advocacy groups filed lawsuits alleging the boundary lines are illegal because they cross too many county lines. Seventh district Republican candidate Ilario Pantano says though he doesn’t completely agree with the new lines, he says Democrats are playing politics as usual.
“They’re trying to delay the primary,” he said. “Basically the Democrat party is trying to protect its incumbents, specifically its incumbent congressmen who are all very vulnerable with these new maps.”
Pantano says the Democrats’ attempt at delaying the election will only end up hurting Republican campaigns.
“That gives us less time to effectively communicate our conservative message to the Independents and the Democrats that need to hear it and frankly are very interested in that message,” he said.
Morgan feels that in order to prevent the inevitable chaos, the maps need to change.
“I think that what needs to happen is they need to go back to the drawing board and really try to come up with some fair plans,” Morgan said.
Democrats are hoping to delay the current primary date until July. A hearing on the state’s motion to dismiss the consolidated lawsuits in scheduled for Thursday.