North Carolina's 12th congressional district
|North Carolina's 12th congressional district|
|Distribution||88.5% urban, 11.5% rural|
|Ethnicity||47.2% White, 44.6% Black, 2.1% Asian, 7.1% Hispanic, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% other|
|Occupation||32.1% blue collar, 51.9% white collar, 16.0% gray collar|
North Carolina's 12th congressional district is located in central North Carolina and comprises portions of Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Lexington, Salisbury, Concord, and High Point. It is an example of gerrymandering. It was one of two minority-majority Congressional districts created in the state in the 1990s. Since the 2010 census, it has a small plurality of whites.
North Carolina earlier had a twelfth seat in the House in the nineteenth century and in the mid-twentieth century (1943-1963).
The district was re-established after the 1990 United States Census, when North Carolina gained a district. It was drawn in 1992 as one of two black majority (minority-majority) districts, as blacks comprised 22% of the state's population. With 64 percent African-American residents, it stretched from Gastonia to Durham. It was very long and so thin at some points that it was no wider than a highway lane, as it followed Interstate 85 almost exactly, It was criticized as a gerrymandered district. When created in the 1990s, it was one of two minority-majority Congressional districts in the state, defined to provide African Americans an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice.
The Wall Street Journal called the district "political pornography." The United States Supreme Court ruled in Shaw v. Reno, 509 U.S. 630 (1993) that a racial gerrymander may, in some circumstances, violate the Equal Protection Clause. The state legislature had defended the two districts as based on demographics, with the 12th representing the interior Piedmont area and the 1st the Coastal Plain. Subsequently, the district was redrawn several times and was adjudicated in the Supreme Court on two additional occasions. The version created after the 2000 census was approved by the US Supreme Court in Hunt v. Cromartie. The current version dates from the 2010 census; like the 2003-2013 version, it has a small plurality of whites, though blacks make up a large majority of registered voters.
The district is currently vacant; Democrat Mel Watt, who had represented the district since its re-establishment in 1993, resigned in 2014 to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. A special election will be held November 4, 2014 to replace Watt.
List of representatives
|District created March 4, 1803|
|Joseph Winston||Democratic-Republican||March 4, 1803 –
March 3, 1807
|Meshack Franklin||Democratic-Republican||March 4, 1807 –
March 3, 1813
|Redistricted to the 13th district|
|Israel Pickens||Democratic-Republican||March 4, 1813 –
March 3, 1817
|Redistricted from the 11th district|
|Felix Walker||Democratic-Republican||March 4, 1817 –
March 3, 1823
|Robert B. Vance||Jacksonian D-R||March 4, 1823 –
March 3, 1825
|Samuel P. Carson||Jacksonian||March 4, 1825 –
March 3, 1833
|James Graham||Anti-Jacksonian||March 4, 1833 –
March 3, 1837
|Seat declared vacant March 29, 1836 - December 5, 1836|
|Whig||March 4, 1837 –
March 4, 1843
|District inactive March 3, 1843|
|District re-established January 3, 1943|
|Zebulon Weaver||Democratic||January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1947
|Redistricted from the 11th district|
|Monroe M. Redden||Democratic||January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1953
|George A. Shuford||Democratic||January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1959
|David M. Hall||Democratic||January 3, 1959 –
January 29, 1960
|Vacant||January 29, 1960 –
June 25, 1960
|Roy A. Taylor||Democratic||June 25, 1960 –
January 3, 1963
|Redistricted to the 11th district|
|District inactive January 3, 1963|
|District re-established January 3, 1993|
|Mel Watt||Democratic||January 3, 1993 –
January 6, 2014
|Resigned to become head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency|
|Vacant||January 6, 2014 –
|North Carolina's 12th congressional district special election, 2014|
|2002||Melvin L. Watt: 98,821||Jeff Kish: 49,588||Carey Head: 2,830|
|2004||Melvin L. Watt: 154,908||Ada M. Fisher: 76,898|
|2006||Melvin L. Watt: 71,345||Ada M. Fisher: 35,127|
|2008||Melvin L. Watt: 215,908||Ty Cobb, Jr.: 85,814|
|2010||Melvin L. Watt: 103,495||Greg Dority: 55,315||Lon Cecil: 3,197|
|2012||Melvin L. Watt: 247,591||Jack Brosch: 63,317|
Historical district boundaries
- "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008". The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
- senate.leg.state.mn.us "North Carolina Redistricting Cases: the 1990s", National Conference of State Legislatures
- "State Profile -- North Carolina". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present