Onslow County – Senate Redistricting Plan – July 2011

Onslow, Carteret unaffected by Senate redistricting plan

July 13, 2011 2:55 PM

Proposed state redistricting maps were released Tuesday and the districts remained mostly unchanged for area counties on the Senate side.

The proposed N.C. Senate districts were released by mid-afternoon, but the wait for House of Representatives districts took a bit longer and were still to be released as of early evening.

Under the proposed Senate district maps, most area counties would be unaffected by the redistricting.

Senate District 6 remains comprised of Onslow and Jones counties; and Senate District 2 continues to include Carteret, Craven and Pamlico counties.

For Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow County, who represents District 6, the two-county district is what he’s come to know well over his past four terms.

“That’s what I’ve known for the past eight years. I know the people well and they are the two counties I’ve always represented,” Brown said.

Onslow County’s population grew by nearly 20 percent over the last decade, according to U.S. Census data released earlier this year. It brought the numbers close to District 6’s ideal population size, but it wasn’t quite enough for Onslow, which makes up the bulk of the district’s population, to be considered large enough to be its own district.

According to district statistics released with the redistricting maps, the actual population for the two counties in District 6 is 187,925. The ideal population is considered 190, 710.

“Onslow County saw its population increase, but it didn’t push the number over the top to change the district,” Brown said.

The population for the district may have been somewhat higher than what was reflected in the Census but military personnel deployed on Census Day were counted in their respective home states.

While Senate Districts 6 and 2 remain unchanged under the proposal, the redistricting moves Duplin County from District 10 to District 12, which would include all of Duplin and portions of Sampson and Johnston counties.

For Sen. Brent Jackson, who currently represents Duplin, Lenoir and Sampson counties in District 10, the redistricting would mean virtually a whole new district for him. He’d be losing Duplin and Lenoir and most of Sampson and picking up Lee and Harnett County.

“I basically have a whole now district. That was my whole argument,” said Jackson, who expressed his concerns to the redistricting committee after getting a glimpse at the maps last week.

The House and Senate districts are redrawn every 10 years based on changing populations.

JANNETTE PIPPIN

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