By Patrick Gannon
WILMINGTON, NC (STARNEWSONLINE.COM) -- Tens of thousands of voters in New Hanover and Pender counties may be surprised when they see their ballots this year and find that they no longer reside in the 7th Congressional District, where Mike McIntyre, a Lumberton Democrat, has been the congressman for 16 years.
Instead, many voters have been moved to the 3rd Congressional District through redistricting, the once-a-decade process of redrawing state and congressional election districts based on the US Census.
The new 3rd District includes all or parts of 22 eastern North Carolina counties and stretches from parts of New Hanover County in the south all the way to the Virginia border. Rep. Walter Jones, a Farmville Republican, has represented the 3rd District for 18 years.