It's estimated that four million people will come to North Carolina in the next 20 years. With the state and the Cape Fear region growing at such a rapid pace, legislators at the local, state and federal levels say they're poised to deal with the issues that arise as a result. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said, "Obviously, with people moving into the area, the services that people demand from city governments and county governments will continue to increase. Obviously, we're going to have to hire more police officers, more firemen. We'll have to have more people in every department to provide the services people want. More trash collectors." Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, said, "[Growth] puts tremendous challenges on elected officials as to where they put investments -- roads, water, sewer, schools, recreation. But with that explosion comes tremendous investment from the private sector. The creation of jobs, the bricks and mortar, the opportunity to bring the types of jobs we didn't dream of bringing to North Carolina." More people also mean more representation at the federal level. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-NC, said, "North Carolina's a popular state. Everybody's discovering vacation land here, how great it is to work, play, worship and retire here. And There's a good chance we'll get another seat in congress after the next census." Sen. Julia Boseman, D-9th district, said, "I think having another congressional seat in Washington would be very good for us. The more help we can get the better." There are 435 seats in the US House of Representatives. That number doesn't change. So in order for North Carolina to pick up more seats, our growth rate has to outpace that of other states. The larger the growth rate, the more seats a state gains. And for every House and Senate seat, there is one electoral vote. So a larger population in the future will impact North Carolina's influence come election time. Experts say it's hard to predict whether there will be more Republicans or Democrats moving to the area. They say even if they're registered one way, it doesn't mean they will vote along party lines.
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