North Carolina's 12th congressional district

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North Carolina's 12th congressional district
Interactive map of district boundaries. Red Line indicates Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County (Only in 2023-5 Map).
Representative
  Alma Adams
DCharlotte
Distribution
  • 98.93% urban
  • 1.07% rural
Population (2020)745,671[1]
Median household
income
$61,658[2]
Ethnicity
Cook PVID+13[3]
Created1993

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.[4]

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 a comparable proportion of the 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.

Static map of 2020-3 congressional district

Re-establishment from 1990[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6][7] 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."[8][9]

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.[5] Subsequently, the 12th district was redrawn several times and was adjudicated in the Supreme Court on two additional occasions.[5] 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,[10] must be redrawn from its post-2010 configuration,[11] and that race could not be a mitigating factor in drawing the district.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.

On February 23, 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court approved a new map which changed the 12th district boundaries to include less of Mecklenburg County and part of Cabarrus County.[15]

Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties are the only in the district.

List of members representing the district[edit]

Member Party Years Cong
ress
Electoral history District Location
District created March 4, 1803
Col. Joseph Winston.jpeg
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)".[16]
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]
Pickensisrael.jpg
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]
SamuelPriceCarson.jpg
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]
JamesGrahamNC.jpg
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
JamesGrahamNC.jpg
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
ZebulonWeaver.jpg
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 Shuford.jpg
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 (Congressman 1918-1960) 1959.jpg
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 93rd Congress 1973.jpg
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
Melvinwatt.jpg
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.
2003–2013
2003–2013
2013–2017
2013–2017
2017–2021
North Carolina US Congressional District 12 (since 2017).tif
2021–2023
Static map of 2020-3 congressional district
Vacant January 6, 2014 –
November 4, 2014
113th
Alma Adams 116th Congress.jpg
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 results[edit]

2002[edit]

2002 United States House of Representatives North Carolina 12th District election[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mel Watt (incumbent) 98,821 65.34
Republican Jeff Kish 49,588 32.79
Libertarian Carey Head 2,830 1.87
Turnout 151,239 100.00
Democratic hold

2004[edit]

2004 United States House of Representatives North Carolina 12th District election[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mel Watt (incumbent) 154,908 66.83 +1.49
Republican Ada Fisher 76,898 33.17 +0.39
Turnout 231,806 100.00
Democratic hold

2006[edit]

2006 United States House of Representatives North Carolina 12th District election[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mel Watt (incumbent) 71,345 67.01 +0.18
Republican Ada Fisher 35,127 32.99 –0.18
Turnout 106,472 100.00
Democratic hold

2008[edit]

2008 United States House of Representatives North Carolina 12th District election[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mel Watt (incumbent) 215,908 71.56 +4.55
Republican Ty Cobb, Jr. 85,814 28.44 –4.55
Turnout 301,722 100.00
Democratic hold

2010[edit]

North Carolina's 12th district general election, November 2, 2010[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mel Watt (incumbent) 103,495 63.88
Republican Greg Dority 55,315 34.14
Libertarian Lon Cecil 3,197 1.97
Total votes 162,007 100.00
Democratic hold

2012[edit]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2012[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Melvin Watt (incumbent) 247,591 79.6
Republican Jack Brosch 63,317 20.4
Total votes 310,908 100.0
Democratic hold

2014 (Special Election)[edit]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2014 (special)[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Alma Adams 127,668 75.43% -4.20%
Republican Vince Coakley 41,578 24.57% +4.20%
Total votes 169,246 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold

2014[edit]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2014[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alma Adams 130,096 75.4
Republican Vince Coakley 42,568 24.6
Total votes 172,664 100.0
Democratic hold

2016[edit]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2016[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alma Adams (incumbent) 234,115 67.0
Republican Leon Threatt 115,185 33.0
Total votes 349,300 100.0
Democratic hold

2018[edit]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2018[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alma Adams (incumbent) 203,974 73.1
Republican Paul Wright 75,164 26.9
Total votes 279,138 100.0
Democratic hold

2020[edit]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district, 2020[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alma Adams (incumbent) 341,457 100.0
Total votes 341,457 100.0
Democratic hold

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NC 2022 Congressional". davesredistricting.org. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  2. ^ Center for New Media & Promotion (CNMP), US Census Bureau. "My Congressional District". www.census.gov.
  3. ^ "Enacted Maps and 2022 Ratings". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  4. ^ "Congressional Districts Relationship Files (State-based)". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 2, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c senate.leg.state.mn.us "North Carolina Redistricting Cases: the 1990s", National Conference of State Legislatures
  6. ^ "Electoral Vote Reforms". politicsnj.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007.
  7. ^ "State Profile -- North Carolina". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  8. ^ "Thomas right to oppose racial 'homelands'". The Item. August 17, 1994.
  9. ^ "12th District's History, Future Will Be Getting More Attention". WFAE. May 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Simpson, Ian (February 8, 2016). "Judges find two N. Carolina congressional districts racially gerrymandered". Reuters. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  11. ^ Choate, Paul (February 5, 2016). "Federal court invalidates maps of North Carolina's 1st, 12th congressional districts". High Point, NC: WGHP FOX8. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "Judges strike down 1st, 12th Districts". The Times-News. Burlington, NC. The Associated Press. February 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Howe, Amy (May 22, 2017). "Opinion analysis: Court strikes down N.C. districts in racial gerrymandering challenge". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "Opinion of the Supreme Court" (PDF).
  15. ^ Doule, Steve (February 23, 2022). "Check out new election maps: NC Supreme Court rejects appeals, approves special masters' districts". WGHP. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  16. ^ "Data Courtesy of Jeffrey B. Lewis, Brandon DeVine, and Lincoln Pritcher with Kenneth C. Martis". United States Congressional District Shapefiles.
  17. ^ "2002 General Election Results US House (12th District)". North Carolina State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  18. ^ "2004 General Election Results US House (12th District)". North Carolina State Board of Elections. Retrieved January 11, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "2006 General Election Results US House (12th District)". North Carolina State Board of Elections. Retrieved January 11, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "2008 General Election". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  21. ^ "US House of Representatives district 12". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  22. ^ "North Carolina General Elections Results 2012". results.enr.clarityelections.com. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  23. ^ "NC SBE Contest Results".
  24. ^ "11/04/2014 OFFICIAL GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS - STATEWIDE". ncsbe.gov/. Archived from the original on June 29, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  25. ^ "11/08/2016 OFFICIAL GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS - STATEWIDE". ncsbe.gov. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  26. ^ "District 12, North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement". North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  27. ^ "November 03, 2020 General Election Results by Contest" (PDF). amazonaws.com. Retrieved June 29, 2022.

External links[edit]

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