North Carolina's 12th congressional district

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"NC-12" redirects here. NC-12 may also refer to North Carolina Highway 12.
North Carolina's 12th congressional district
North Carolina US Congressional District 12 (since 2013).tif
Map of North Carolina's 12th congressional district as of January 2013
Current Representative Alma Adams (DGreensboro)
Area 827 sq mi (2,140 km2)
  • 88.5% urban
  • 11.5% rural
Population (2000) 619,178
Median income 35,775
Cook PVI D+18[1]

North Carolina's 12th congressional district is a gerrymandered district located in central North Carolina and comprises portions of Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Lexington, Salisbury, Concord, and High Point.

It was one of two minority-majority Congressional districts created in the state in the 1990s. As of the 2000 United States Census, there is a small plurality of White Americans in the district, though African Americans make up comparable proportion of its voting population.

North Carolina had a twelfth seat in the House in the nineteenth century and in the mid-twentieth century (1943–1963).

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.[2]

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.[3][4] 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."[5][6]

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.[2] Subsequently, the 12th district was redrawn several times and was adjudicated in the Supreme Court on two additional occasions.[2] The version created after the 2000 census was approved by the US Supreme Court in Hunt v. Cromartie. The district's configuration dating from the 2000 census has 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. In all of its configurations, it has been a Democratic stronghold; its current incarnation is dominated by black voters in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem.

On February 5, 2016, U.S. Circuit Judge Roger L. Gregory ruled that the district, along with North Carolina's 1st congressional district,[7] must be redrawn,[8] and that race could not be a mitigating factor in drawing the district.[9]

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Party Years Electoral history
District created March 4, 1803
Col. Joseph Winston.jpeg Joseph Winston Democratic-Republican March 4, 1803 –
March 3, 1807
No image.svg Meshack Franklin Democratic-Republican March 4, 1807 –
March 3, 1813
Redistricted to the 13th district
Pickensisrael.jpg Israel Pickens Democratic-Republican March 4, 1813 –
March 3, 1817
Redistricted from the 11th district
No image.svg Felix Walker Democratic-Republican March 4, 1817 –
March 3, 1823
No image.svg Robert B. Vance Jacksonian D-R March 4, 1823 –
March 3, 1825
No image.svg Samuel P. Carson Jacksonian March 4, 1825 –
March 3, 1833
JamesGrahamNC.jpg 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
ZebulonWeaver.jpg Zebulon Weaver Democratic January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1947
Redistricted from the 11th district
No image.svg Monroe M. Redden Democratic January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1953
No image.svg George A. Shuford Democratic January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1959
No image.svg David M. Hall Democratic January 3, 1959 –
January 29, 1960
Vacant January 29, 1960 –
June 25, 1960
Roy A. Taylor 93rd Congress 1973.jpg 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
Melvinwatt.jpg Mel Watt Democratic January 3, 1993 –
January 6, 2014
Resigned to become head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Vacant January 6, 2014 –
November 4, 2014
North Carolina's 12th congressional district special election, 2014
Alma Adams official portrait.jpg Alma Adams Democratic November 4, 2014 –

Election results[edit]

Year Democratic Republican Libertarian
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  
2014 Alma Adams: 128,081 Vince Coakley: 41,737  
2016 Alma Adams: 234,115 Leon Threatt: 115,185

Historical district boundaries[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index – Districts of the 115th Congress" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "North Carolina Redistricting Cases: the 1990s", National Conference of State Legislatures
  3. ^ "Electoral Vote Reforms". Archived from the original on 2007-08-04. 
  4. ^ "State Profile -- North Carolina". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Thomas right to oppose racial 'homelands'". The Item. August 17, 1994. 
  6. ^ "12th District's History, Future Will Be Getting More Attention". WFAE. May 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ Simpson, Ian (February 8, 2016). "Judges find two N. Carolina congressional districts racially gerrymandered". Reuters. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ "Judges strike down 1st, 12th Districts". The Times-News. Burlington, NC. The Associated Press. 6 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

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