Custom Search

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

GOP Regains North Carolina Senate & House! Yeah!!!

Legislative Changes On The Way In North Carolina Senate & House

N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare, has been one of the most powerful individuals in state government since the early 1990s, but his long reign as the Senate's top leader appears to be at an end.

Republican candidates for the N.C. Senate appeared to be taking over that chamber for the first time since 1898 and the party's candidates for the House appeared to be winning the House of Representatives for the first time since 1997 as well.

With an Anti-Incumbent mood running among voters in legislative elections, Democrats in North Carolina who dominated the General Assembly in the 20th and so far the 21st centuries will surely find Raleigh a far different place when the General Assembly reconvenes in 2011.

Democrat Bev Perdue will still be Governor for at least another two years, of course, but many things are likely to change

Republicans who have been thwarted in their legislative efforts will find a different atmosphere. The electoral change would open up new leadership opportunities for Republicans such as Sen. Bob Rucho of Charlotte and Rep. Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg.

The Senate changes include the biennial drafting of the state budget, for which Republicans have been laying plans for months to trim more than $3 billion from the state's roughly $20 billion operating budget. Some plans envision cutting up to 20 percent to make ends meet.

Perhaps just as important is the redrawing of congressional and legislative districts for the upcoming decade. Those districts must be revised every 10 years following the Census, and Republicans will have the chance to guide redistricting committees through the process for the first time in modern state history.

Also important to Republicans is Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Jackson's lead over Democratic Court of Appeals Judge Bob Hunter for the N.C. Supreme Court seat held by outgoing justice Ed Brady. Although these seats are nonpartisan, it's no secret that Jackson is a Republican, as is Brady. And her election would not only preserve a 4-3 Republican-Democrat split on the court, it will also give the N.C. court a majority of female justices. It's foolish to predict how justices will vote based on their political party, but it will comfort Republicans in redistricting lawsuits that the numbers at least appear to be on their side.

Democrats no doubt will now have second thoughts about their refusal to go along with Republican proposals in past years to create a nonpartisan commission to study demographic changes and draft new districts for the state's 13 congressional districts and 170 legislative districts. It will be another decade before districts could be redrawn, and Democrats will have time to ponder their lost opportunities - apparently from the back bench.

View Larger Map

Sources: McClatchy Newspapers, MSNBC, WCNC, WRAL, Google Maps

No comments: