State senate redistricting brings change for Moore
The new redistricting map released by the state legislature Tuesday puts Moore County in a new state senate district and confronts our longtime incumbent, Senator Harris Blake (R), with possibly the most significant electoral challenge of his tenure in Raleigh.
The plan puts Moore County — and Senator Blake — into senate district 29, which is home to Randolph County’s Senator Jerry Tillman (R), the current Senate Majority Whip. Moore voters in Blake’s current district will be lumped in with the voters of Randolph County. Because Randolph has a larger population, many political observers give Tillman the edge in a 2012 GOP primary.
Those who have observed Blake for a while note that it is foolish to write him off. Blake is very popular among voters, very visible in the community, and very responsive to constituent requests. He may not have been a force to be reckoned with in the senate chamber, but he has taken care of the people back home. (In his last two reelection bids, he has thrashed both former state Rep. Richard Morgan, and his wife Cindy, by margins of more than 2-to-1.)
It is obvious that Blake saw this coming. But running agains the #3 leader in the senate is a daunting task. Blake is getting up there in years. He is a recent widower. This development may give him the opportunity to bow out gracefully , enjoy the next few years in peace and quiet, and allow the majority whip to run unopposed in the GOP primary. I would be surprised if this happens, though. Harris Blake has never been one to back down from fight. But, I’ve been surprised before …
Surrendering the district to a Randolph politico would put former state House speaker — and close Richard Morgan ally — Harold Brubaker (R-Asheboro) in position as a kingmaker for the senate seat. It is clear that Richard Morgan wants to have a voice in the state senate, given that he and his wife have run for the seat in the last four years. Brubaker could make things quite comfy for a political comeback by his friend Richard Morgan in this new district, should Tillman decide to retire. Let’s all keep an eye on this one …