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Redistricting wars begin; public hearings held throughout state

READ MORE: Redistricting wars begin; public hearings held throughout state

CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) -- Well, it’s that time again. The war over redistricting has begun. Every ten years, new lines are drawn for the Tar Heel state's Senate and House districts. The Senate and House redistricting committees are holding public hearings across 36 different sites throughout the state. Folks were given a chance to voice their opinions to the committee about how they prefer to see those lines drawn.

Owen Wexler lives in New Hanover County but is currently represented by Carolyn Justice. He says he would like to see the new districts more representative.

"I recognize that Carolyn Justice is primarily elected from Pender County and her primary interests are to be for Pender County,” said Wexler. “We need to have that same kind of representation in New Hanover.”

Jose Hernandez, who also lives in New Hanover County, came to represent the Hispanic population. He says he wants lawmakers to be aware of the growing number of Hispanics in the state.

“I hope that the process is fair, it's transparent and it takes into consideration the Hispanic population that has grown so much in this state and is part of the future of North Carolina,” said Hernandez.

This is the first year Republicans have control over the general assembly since reconstruction.
Republican state senator, Thom Goolsby, says he wants to use this opportunity to make improvements to the current district lines.

“We literally right now in North Carolina have districts that run down interstates to connect people,” said Goolsby. “We have counties that are cut up into and divided as you saw tonight are not represented by people they know.”

Lucia Messina is a Democrat and a representative for Democracy North Carolina. Though she says she expects the process to be some what partisan, she hopes everything is handled fairly.

“We really hope they want the best for North Carolina because we will fight them on it,” said Messina.

Senator Goolsby says the committee will have new maps drawn up in June.

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