Wake Ed

Conservatives react to ruling against Wake County election maps

Liberals have been cheering last week’s federal court ruling against the new election maps for Wake County school board and commissioners, but how should conservatives respond?

Conservative bloggers Carter Wrenn and A.P. Dillon have differing responses to a U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals panel declaring the state legislature’s districts for Wake to be unconstitutional. Their responses take place against a backdrop of continuing uncertainty over how the court ruling will affect November’s elections for Wake school board and commissioners.

Wrenn, a longtime Republican strategist, writes Wednesday on the “Talking About Politics” blog that the court intervention is “a bit of time-honored Americana.” He calls redistricting “raw politics” and a “power grab” that Republicans and Democrats have long exercised.

“But, then, a hard reality reared its head: The Republicans ran head-on into two Democrats in Richmond wearing federal judges’ robes who had the power to un-draw all nine of the Republicans’ Wake County School Board districts – and did,” Wrenn writes.

“When the smoke cleared it was a mess. Republicans had grabbed for power. Democrats had grabbed back. And the power grabs had ended in gridlock. Four months before the election there were no Wake County school board districts.”

Dillon’s post Sunday in her “Lady Liberty 1885” blog was less forgiving about the court ruling. She writes that the 2-1 judicial decision has a “disenfranchising effect” on Wake County voters.

“The Wake county school board race has seen a healthy number of candidates filing,” Dillon writes. “Time, energy and money have all been spent on races that may not happen.

“Voters will be deprived of electing the representation they desire. Arguably, unless the legislature appeals and/or redraws the Wake maps, a Democrat majority school board and a completely Democrat held Board of Commissioners could remain in place for another(her emphasis) term.”

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