North Carolina Democrat says she won't seek reelection under new maps

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) announced Thursday that she won’t seek reelection to her U.S. House seat in 2024 under new “egregiously gerrymandered” congressional maps in North Carolina. 

“I would love nothing more than to continue representing our community in Congress. Unfortunately, the egregiously gerrymandered maps do not make this race competitive, and I cannot in good conscience ask people to invest their time, resources and efforts in a campaign that is rigged against us,” Manning said in a statement.

But the Democratic lawmaker left the door open to future service, noting that “if the impending lawsuits are successful and the General Assembly is forced to draw fair congressional districts, I will seek to continue my service to our community.”

North Carolina’s GOP-led state Legislature approved new congressional lines back in October, dealing a blow to Democrats. The state’s 14-member House delegation is currently evenly split between seven Democrats and seven Republicans, but experts say the new map puts Republicans in a position to be favored in at least 10 of the districts. 

“House Democrats are dropping like flies and choosing not to run for reelection with Joe Biden and their shared extreme record on the ballot,” Delanie Bomar, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said in a statement. “After today’s announcement by Kathy Manning, House Republicans just grew our 2024 majority by one seat.” 

First-term Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.) decided against running for reelection to his House seat after the new maps were approved, launching a bid instead to become the state’s attorney general. Jackson called the new lines “blatant corruption.”

Former Republican Rep. Mark Walker (N.C.) also ended his gubernatorial bid to run for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District after the new maps were approved. He’d previously represented the district before Manning flipped the seat blue in 2020 when Walker decided not to run for reelection.

Jackson and Manning were expected to be heavily threatened by the new map, along with Rep. Wiley Nickel (D). Rep. Don Davis (D) was also drawn into a more competitive district. 

In her Thursday statement, Manning called out the Tar Heel State’s Republican-led General Assembly for the “flagrantly gerrymandered” districts and said the redrawing is “the shameful act of leaders who know they can’t win under fair districts.”

“Rather than draw Congressional districts that are compact, include communities of interest, and promote the democratic value of allowing voters to decide who they want to represent them – the previously stated goals of the redistricting committee – Republican leaders have put their partisan self-interest above the people they’re elected to serve,” Manning said. 

The release from her office notes a lawsuit was filed this week in an effort to overturn the new districts, and it notes that if the suit is successful, Manning “will run to represent the community she has been so honored to serve.”

Updated at 3 p.m. EST

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