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North Carolina State Senator to Run in Competitive District Following Redistricting

In response to the recently approved redistricting map that placed her in the same district as a fellow Democratic incumbent, first-term North Carolina state Senator Lisa Grafstein has declared her candidacy for another Senate seat in the upcoming year.

Sen. Lisa Grafstein, who is the sole openly LGBTQ+ senator in the chamber, revealed her intention to contest a Senate seat in southern Wake County, where no current senator resides. Unlike her previous heavily Democratic district, where she was elected in 2022, this newly formed 13th District is considered highly competitive based on past statewide election results.

In a press release on Thursday, Grafstein stated, “I look forward to meeting new neighbors, making new friends, and reconnecting with others I have known for years. I intend to run a spirited campaign focused on the issues that matter most to you and your family.”

The redistricting approved by the General Assembly on Wednesday resulted in both Grafstein and Senate Minority Whip Jay Chaudhuri residing in the same district. According to the North Carolina Constitution, a candidate must live within the district they seek to represent. Therefore, without one of them relocating, the redrawn lines could have set the stage for a potential primary contest between the sitting senators.

Grafstein recently suggested that the “double-bunking” of herself and Chaudhuri may have been influenced by her advocacy for transgender residents, leading Republicans to create less favorable electoral circumstances for her.

However, a prominent GOP senator involved in redistricting stated that Grafstein and Sen. Natasha Marcus of Mecklenburg County, another outspoken Democratic senator placed in a district with a fellow incumbent, were not specifically targeted in the redistricting process.

The newly established maps of the General Assembly appear to provide Republicans with a solid opportunity to maintain their current veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate during the 2024 elections.

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