US Rep. Jeff Jackson, seen here on the campaign trail in 2021 when he was still a North Carolina State Senator.
US Rep. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat, predicted he would be targeted by gerrymandering Republicans.
Jackson earlier filed a bill to curtail gerrymandering when he was a North Carolina state lawmaker.
The bill never made it to a vote. Now Jackson says the state’s GOP has him on the chopping block.
A US Congressman who tried to make it illegal for politicians to gerrymander may be ousted from his congressional district.
First-term US Rep. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat from North Carolina, issued a warning to his constituents in a video last week, saying the redistricting process would be “brutal.”
“In about six weeks, the state legislature here in North Carolina is going to redraw the congressional map, and it looks like they will try to use that as an opportunity to take me out,” Jackson said. “The majority party in the state legislature wants one of their own in this district, so they’re going to bend it and stretch it to try and make that happen.”
Gerrymandering refers to the practice of drawing political districts that give one party a lopsided advantage over the other in an election.
Boundaries for state and federal districts are redrawn every 10 years following the federal census to ensure each district contains roughly the same number of people. Usually, the party in power is the one in control of the redistricting — meaning both Republicans and Democrats have benefited from gerrymandering.
In the last round of redistricting, 26 states approved maps on a partisan basis, the Brennan Center for Justice reported in 2022. Just four states — Arizona, California, Colorado, and Michigan — used fully independent commissions to draw their maps. In an opinion in June, the US Supreme Court said Alabama violated the Voting Rights Act by creating congressional districts that discriminated against Black voters.
In 2015, when he was a member of the state’s senate, Jackson filed a bill to establish an independent redistricting commission in North Carolina to draw voting districts instead of the state’s lawmakers. But that bill never made it out of committee.
In his video, Jackson said it wasn’t a shock to him that he’d be targeted by redistricting, adding that he doesn’t think he will be the only Democrat impacted.
“This is what can happen in states where politicians are allowed to draw the political map, which is a bad system, and a lot of states don’t allow it, and when I was in the state legislature, the first bill I ever filed was to ban politicians from being able to draw the map, and they sent that bill to a committee that hasn’t met in over 20 years,” Jackson said.
A spokesperson for Jackson’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Reached for comment via email, the leader of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Republican caucus, Rep. Jason Saine, only said that Jackson should “elaborate” on his claims.