North Carolina's 12th congressional district

North Carolina's 12th congressional district is a congressional district located in the city of Charlotte and surrounding areas in Mecklenburg County represented by Democrat Alma Adams. Prior to the 2016 elections, it was a gerrymandered district located in central North Carolina that comprised portions of Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Lexington, Salisbury, Concord, and High Point.

North Carolina's 12th congressional district
North Carolina's 12th congressional district (since 2021).png
North Carolina's 12th congressional district since January 3, 2021
Representative
  Alma Adams
DCharlotte
Area441 sq mi (1,140 km2)
Distribution
  • 98.93% urban[1]
  • 1.07% rural
Population (2019)891,792[2]
Median household
income
$61,658[2]
Ethnicity
Occupation
Cook PVID+19[3]

It was one of two minority-majority Congressional districts created in the state in the 1990s. Between 2003 and 2013, there was a small plurality of white Americans in the district according to the 2000 United States Census, although African Americans made up comparable proportion of its voting population. As redrawn for the 2012 elections and under the lines used prior to the 2016 elections, the district had an African-American majority according to the 2010 United States Census. The 12th district is the most Democratic district in North Carolina, and it has never been represented by a Republican.

North Carolina had a twelfth seat in the House in the early nineteenth century (1803-1843) and in the mid-twentieth century (1943–1963). Most of the territory in the district's second incarnation is now in the 11th district.

Re-establishment from 1990Edit

The district was re-established after the 1990 United States Census, when North Carolina gained a House seat due to an increase in population. It was drawn in 1992 as one of two minority-majority districts, designed to give African-American voters (who comprised 22% of the state's population at the time) the chance to elect a representative of their choice; Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act prohibited the dilution of voting power of minorities by distributing them among districts so that they could never elect candidates of their choice.[4]

In its original configuration, the district had a 64 percent African-American majority in population. The district boundaries, stretching from Gastonia to Durham, were so narrow at some points that it was no wider than a highway lane. It followed Interstate 85 almost exactly.[5][6] One state legislator famously remarked, after seeing the district map, "if you drove down the interstate with both car doors open, you’d kill most of the people in the district."[7][8]

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Shaw v. Reno (1993) that a racial gerrymander may, in some circumstances, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

The state legislature defended the two minority-majority districts as based on demographics, with the 12th representing people of the interior Piedmont area and the 1st the Coastal Plain.[4] Subsequently, the 12th district was redrawn several times and was adjudicated in the Supreme Court on two additional occasions.[4] The version created after the 2000 census was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hunt v. Cromartie. The district's configuration dating from the 2000 census had a small plurality of whites, and it was changed only slightly after the 2010 census. African Americans make up a large majority of registered voters and Hispanics constitute 7.1% of residents.

On February 5, 2016, U.S. Circuit Judge Roger L. Gregory ruled that the district, along with North Carolina's 1st congressional district,[9] must be redrawn from its post-2010 configuration,[10] and that race could not be a mitigating factor in drawing the district.[11] This decision, in the case of Cooper v. Harris, was subsequently upheld 5−3 by the U.S. Supreme Court in an opinion by Justice Elena Kagan on May 22, 2017.[12] In the opinion, Justice Kagan noted that this marked the fifth time the 12th district had appeared before the Supreme Court, following Shaw v. Reno and Hunt v. Cromartie which had both been heard twice before the Court.[13]

In all of its configurations, it has been a Democratic stronghold. Its previous incarnation was dominated by black voters in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. The redrawn map made the 12th a compact district comprising nearly all of Mecklenburg County, except the southeast quadrant. Due to Charlotte's heavy swing to the Democrats in recent years, the reconfigured 12th is no less Democratic than its predecessor.

List of members representing the districtEdit

Member Party Years Cong
ress
Electoral history District Location
District created March 4, 1803
 
Joseph Winston
Democratic-Republican March 4, 1803 –
March 3, 1807
8th
9th
Elected in 1803.
Re-elected in 1804.
Retired.
1803–1813
"North Carolina Congressional District Map (1803-13)".[14]
Meshack Franklin Democratic-Republican March 4, 1807 –
March 3, 1813
10th
11th
12th
Elected in 1806.
Re-elected in 1808.
Re-elected in 1810.
Redistricted to the 13th district.
1813–1823
[data unknown/missing]
 
Israel Pickens
Democratic-Republican March 4, 1813 –
March 3, 1817
13th
14th
Redistricted from the 11th district and re-elected in 1813.
Re-elected in 1815.
Retired.
Felix Walker Democratic-Republican March 4, 1817 –
March 3, 1823
15th
16th
17th
Elected in 1817.
Re-elected in 1819.
Re-elected in 1821.
Lost re-election.
Robert B. Vance Democratic-Republican March 4, 1823 –
March 3, 1825
18th Elected in 1823.
Lost re-election.
1823–1833
[data unknown/missing]
 
Samuel P. Carson
Jacksonian March 4, 1825 –
March 3, 1833
19th
20th
21st
22nd
Elected in 1825.
Re-elected in 1827.
Re-elected in 1829.
Re-elected in 1831.
[data unknown/missing]
 
James Graham
Anti-Jacksonian March 4, 1833 –
March 29, 1836
23rd
24th
Elected in 1833.
Re-elected in 1835.
Seat declared vacant.
1833–1843
[data unknown/missing]
Vacant March 29, 1836 –
December 5, 1836
24th
 
James Graham
Anti-Jacksonian December 5, 1836 –
March 3, 1837
24th
25th
26th
27th
Elected in 1836 to finish his term.
Also elected in 1837 to the next term.
Re-elected in 1839.
Re-elected in 1841.
Redistricted to the 1st congressional district and lost re-election.
Whig March 4, 1837 –
March 3, 1843
District eliminated March 4, 1843
District re-established January 3, 1943
 
Zebulon Weaver
Democratic January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1947
78th
79th
Redistricted from the 11th congressional district and re-elected in 1942.
Re-elected in 1944.
Lost renomination.
Monroe M. Redden Democratic January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1953
80th
81st
82nd
Elected in 1946.
Re-elected in 1948.
Retired.
 
George A. Shuford
Democratic January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1959
83rd
84th
85th
Elected in 1952.
Re-elected in 1954.
Re-elected in 1956.
Renominated but later withdrew because of ill health.
 
David M. Hall
Democratic January 3, 1959 –
January 29, 1960
86th Elected in 1958.
Died.
Vacant January 29, 1960 –
June 25, 1960
 
Roy A. Taylor
Democratic June 25, 1960 –
January 3, 1963
86th
87th
Elected to finish Hall's term.
Re-elected in 1960.
Redistricted to the 11th district.
District eliminated January 3, 1963
District re-established January 3, 1993
 
Mel Watt
Democratic January 3, 1993 –
January 6, 2014
103rd
104th
105th
106th
107th
108th
109th
110th
111th
112th
113th
Elected in 1992.
Re-elected in 1994.
Re-elected in 1996.
Re-elected in 1998.
Re-elected in 2000.
Re-elected in 2002.
Re-elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2006.
Re-elected in 2008.
Re-elected in 2010.
Re-elected in 2012.
Resigned to become Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Vacant January 6, 2014 –
November 4, 2014
113th
 
Alma Adams
Democratic November 4, 2014 –
Present
113th
114th
115th
116th
117th
Elected to finish Watt's term.
Also elected in 2014 to the next term.
Re-elected in 2016.
Re-elected in 2018.

Re-elected in 2020.

Recent election resultsEdit

Year Democratic Republican Libertarian
2002  Y Melvin L. Watt (Incumbent): 98,821 Jeff Kish: 49,588 Carey Head: 2,830
2004  Y Melvin L. Watt (Incumbent): 154,908 Ada M. Fisher: 76,898
2006  Y Melvin L. Watt (Incumbent): 71,345 Ada M. Fisher: 35,127
2008  Y Melvin L. Watt (Incumbent): 215,908 Ty Cobb Jr.: 85,814
2010  Y Melvin L. Watt (Incumbent): 103,495 Greg Dority: 55,315 Lon Cecil: 3,197
2012  Y Melvin L. Watt (Incumbent): 247,591 Jack Brosch: 63,317
2014 special  Y Alma Adams (Incumbent): 127,668 Vince Coakley: 41,578
2014  Y Alma Adams (Incumbent): 130,096 Vince Coakley: 42,568
2016  Y Alma Adams (Incumbent): 234,115 Leon Threatt: 115,185
2018  Y Alma Adams (Incumbent): 203,974 Paul Wright: 75,164
2020  Y Alma Adams (Incumbent): 341,462 Uncontested

Historical district boundariesEdit

 
2003–2013
 
2013–2017

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/cd_state.html
  2. ^ a b Center for New Media & Promotion (CNMP), US Census Bureau. "My Congressional District". www.census.gov.
  3. ^ "Introducing the 2021 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index". The Cook Political Report. April 15, 2021. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c senate.leg.state.mn.us "North Carolina Redistricting Cases: the 1990s", National Conference of State Legislatures
  5. ^ "Electoral Vote Reforms". politicsnj.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007.
  6. ^ "State Profile -- North Carolina". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "Thomas right to oppose racial 'homelands'". The Item. August 17, 1994.
  8. ^ "12th District's History, Future Will Be Getting More Attention". WFAE. May 15, 2013.
  9. ^ Simpson, Ian (February 8, 2016). "Judges find two N. Carolina congressional districts racially gerrymandered". Reuters. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Choate, Paul (5 February 2016). "Federal court invalidates maps of North Carolina's 1st, 12th congressional districts". High Point, NC: WGHP FOX8. Retrieved February 2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. ^ "Judges strike down 1st, 12th Districts". The Times-News. Burlington, NC. The Associated Press. February 6, 2016.
  12. ^ Howe, Amy (May 22, 2017). "Opinion analysis: Court strikes down N.C. districts in racial gerrymandering challenge". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  13. ^ "Opinion of the Supreme Court" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Data Courtesy of Jeffrey B. Lewis, Brandon DeVine, and Lincoln Pritcher with Kenneth C. Martis". United States Congressional District Shapefiles.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°38′47″N 80°26′33″W / 35.64639°N 80.44250°W / 35.64639; -80.44250