ROCKINGHAM — Congressman Dan Bishop could remain the U.S. representative for most of Richmond County.
Bishop announced around 6 p.m. Thursday in a social media ad that he would be filing to run for the newly configured 8th Congressional District.
“I’m running in #NC08 to keep fighting for freedom for those I have served before and new friends I have yet to meet,” Bishop said in a post on both Twitter and Facebook.
Bishop currently represents the 9th District, which comprises Richmond, Anson, Scotland, Robeson, Hoke and Union counties — as well as parts of Mecklenburg and Moore counties.
The Mecklenburg County Republican was undecided Wednesday whether he would run for the 8th or 9th in an alternative map accepted by a three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals.
Richmond County Superior Court Judge Dawn Layton is one of the judges on that panel and the only Democrat.
The “interim” map was drawn by former state Supreme Court Justices Bob Orr and Bob Edmonds, along with former UNC System president Thomas Ross.
In that map, the 8th District groups the western two-thirds of Richmond County, and the southeastern corner, with Anson, Union, Montgomery, Stanly, Rowan and Davidson counties, as well as eastern Cabarrus.
The latter county is home to Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from Concord.
Hudson announced earlier on Thursday that would be running for the new 9th District.
That district now includes most of eastern Richmond County, Scotland, Hoke, Lee, Chatham and Randolph counties in addition to northwest Cumberland and western Harnett counties.
Bishop, who said he was also considering a statewide judicial run, expressed his discontent with the new map, saying, “Activist judges have subverted our constitution.”
Bishop won a special election in 2019, defeating Democrat Dan McCready, after the seat sat vacant for most of the year following an absentee ballot scandal in Bladen County linked to the Mark Harris campaign.
Elections Director Connie Kelly said this is the first time in her 29 years on the job that she recalls Richmond County being spit into two congressional districts.