Rep. Kathy Manning announced Thursday she will not seek reelection next year, a change of plans after a new map drawn by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature would have left the Democrat with an uphill climb to winning a third term.
“I won’t file for re-election in the egregiously gerrymandered Congressional districts,” Manning wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
A spokesperson for Manning said in October she planned to run, before the Republican-led state legislature approved new congressional maps that would have made her district a likely pickup for Republicans.
“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 posted on her official House website. “However, 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.”
Legal challenges have hung over redistricting in North Carolina for several years. The map used in 2022 resulted from a court challenge to a Republican gerrymander and produced a delegation with seven Democrats and seven Republicans.
But earlier this year, the state’s Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling that made partisan gerrymandering illegal. That gave Republicans, who hold majorities in the state legislature, the power to redraw the maps in a way that would give them a chance to win as many as 11 of the state’s 14 districts in 2024.
Other North Carolina Democrats also face more difficult districts next year. Freshman Rep. Jeff Jackson, whose district would also be favorable to Republicans, is running for state attorney general rather than running for a second term in the House. Rep. Wiley Nickel is also among the most vulnerable incumbents in the House with the new map. And freshman Rep. Don Davis is expected to run in one of the most competitive races next year.
Under the 6th District boundaries in place last year, Joe Biden would have beaten Donald Trump in 2020 by 12 percentage points. Using the boundaries set for next year’s race, Trump would have won by 16 points. Based on the new map, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the races for Manning’s, Nickel’s and Jackson’s seats Likely Republican, while the race for Davis’ seat is rated a Toss-up.
A former immigration lawyer, Manning has focused on that issue during her two terms in the House, offering proposals related to work visas, as well as health care and immigration issues. She first ran for the House in 2018, losing to then-Rep. Ted Budd in a closely-watched race, before running in the 6th District in 2020.