Redrawn maps send another NC lawmaker packing, this time a Democrat

A veteran Democrat in the North Carolina General Assembly announced Monday that she won’t seek re-election, saying it would be difficult for her to win in a redrawn district.

Angela Bryant of Rocky Mount in Nash County says she won’t seek a fourth term in the state Senate. She previously served three terms in the state House.

“All of Nash County and therefore, my residence, was assigned to Senate District 11 encompassing all of Nash and part of Johnston counties,” Bryant wrote in a news release. “This new Senate District 11 voted 58% Republican in recent elections and is 25% Black. I do not believe that district would be a favorable district for me to run in successfully.”

Bryant is one of the latest lawmakers to bow out since the legislature redrew maps in August. Also Monday, the state Republican Party tweeted that Rep. John Blust, a Republican from the Greensboro area, will forgo a re-election bid after serving 20 years in the legislature. He joins two other Republicans, Sen. Bill Cook and Rep. Susan Martin, who already announced plans to bow out of the legislature after their terms are up because they were drawn into Democratic-leaning districts.

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Candidate filing began Monday. In Wake County, Republican John Adcock filed to run in House District 37. Adcock, an attorney from Fuquay-Varina, briefly ran for a seat on the Wake County Board of Commissioners before the district where he was running was thrown out by the courts.

[See NC House and Senate districts]

In the Senate, Democrat Wiley Nickel filed to run in District 16, which has no incumbent. Another Democrat, Luis Toledo, announced he would file to run for the same district.

Bryant, for her part, said she’s proud of being a primary sponsor of 53 bills that became law, that did everything from authorize the sale of Electricities assets to Duke Power “and thereby reducing rates,” to “creating local offender re-entry councils reinforcing due process rights for parents of students with long term suspension.”

“It is a blessing in life to get a chance to do something that I really love doing and, for me, that is serving my community,” she said.

As for Blust, NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement that he was “on the front lines fighting for the successful Republican policies of lower taxes, less regulation and school choice. However, Representative Blust has occupied an important and unique role in fighting for ethics and honor in the General Assembly. He pushed both Republians and Democrats to answer to the call of politics with a higher standard for ethics and fair play. He was fiercely critical of corruption of our opponents, and he correctly called out our Party when we lost our way.”

The announcements come less than a week after a Durham lawyer who has served for decades in the legislature, state Rep. Mickey Michaux of Durham, announced that he’ll retire once the General Assembly adjourns this spring.

Zack Hawkins, who has served as a vice chair of the state Democratic Party, announced over the weekend that he’ll seek Michaux’s seat. He wrote on social media that he has Michaux’s support.

Join me, Rep. Mickey Michaux and the Durham delegation as we officially file today at the #durhamboe! Hear Mickey endorse my vision for #abetternorthcarolina @SpecNewsRDU @SpectacularMag @FLIP_NC @tritribune @TheDurhamNews @CarolinaTimes @HeraldSunEditor @newsobserver pic.twitter.com/JjY3Mu10PQ

— Zack Hawkins for North Carolina (@zack_hawkins) February 12, 2018

“His shoes can never be filled but I hope to make him proud and serve people of District 31 well in Raleigh!” Hawkins wrote.

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Paul A. Specht: 919-829-4870, @AndySpecht

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