ROCKINGHAM — North Carolina lawmakers are literally back at the drawing board, creating yet another set of new legislative maps.
Bills filed on Wednesday show several proposals for districts for the N.C. Senate and House of Representatives and the U.S. House of Representatives.
State House District 52, currently represented by Ben Moss, R-Richmond, appears to remain unchanged, comparing the current map to the one included in recent legislation.
That district still comprises all of Richmond County and a portion of southeastern Moore County in roughly the same shape.
A population deviation report shows that legislators are trying to divide 120 House Districts among the state’s 10.4 million residents, shooting for each district to have an average of 86,995 people.
The actual population shown for District 52 is 84,383. Several districts have fewer than 84,000 while others have more than 91,000.
Senate District 29 also remains mostly the same. The district, represented by Sen. Dave Craven, R-Randolph, still includes all of Richmond, Anson and Montgomery counties, most of Randolph County and eastern Union.
There appears to be a slight deviation of the district’s shape to include a little more of Randloph and less of Union.
The population deviation report shows the ideal population for each of the 50 state Senate districts as 208,788. The chart shows the deviations ranging from roughly 10,000 more (including District 29) to 10,000 less in some districts.
As for the congressional maps, there are two proposals — both of which keep Richmond County intact.
Currently, Richmond County is split between Congressional Districts 8 and 9, with those seats held by Republican U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop and Richard Hudson, respectively.
Most of the county falls in District 8, which also includes all of Montgomery, Stanly, Anson, Union, Davidson and Rowan counties, as well as the eastern half of Cabarrus.
The eastern sliver of the county included in District 9, also comprising Scotland, Hoke, Moore, Lee, Chatham and Randolph counties, and the western parts of Cumberland and Harnett counties.
One of the new proposed maps places Richmond in District 8. That district also features all of Scotland, Anson, Union, Montgomery and Stanly counties, as well as the areas of Cabarrus County east of Interstate-85, a sliver of eastern Mecklenburg, and the western two-thirds of Robeson County.
Another proposal stays mostly along the South Carolina border and U.S. 74 corridor, comprising all of Richmond, Anson, Union, Scotland, Robeson and Columbus counties, as well as southern Hoke and the same regions of Mecklenburg and Cabarrus as the other map. This would be the 9th District.
Whichever map is decided on, Richmond County will see new representation on Capitol Hill.
Bishop announced in August that he would be running for state attorney general.
So far, at least two candidates have announced their plans to run for the seat.
The Rev. Mark Harris, who previously campaigned in 2018, announced in September that he would be running again in 2024.
Union County farmer and businessman Allan Baucom has also launched a campaign website.
Baucom is forme chairman of the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors and his umbrella company, the Baucom Group, includes several businesses — A.L. Baucom Family Farms, A.L. Baucom Transportation, Baucom Service Inc., Carolina Ag and Equipment Group, Falcon Soil and Piedmont Market.
According to his campaign website, Baucom’s companies “employ about 150 people across Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson counties.”
Baucom is also a member of the NRA and Ducks Unlimited, and serves as an advisory board member of College of Ag and Life Sciences and is a board member of the Executive Farm Management program at N.C. State University.
The RO is currently unaware of any other candidates for that seat.