by Bob Geary
I don't have Martin's announcement Now I do have it ... h/t Greg Flynn ... along with the earlier statement from House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, on Martin's decision.
First, Martin, who notes that Republicans seemed to target Democratic women legislators for extinction:
The abusive redistricting plan enacted this year does many things. It seeks to racially re-segregate the state. It splits a stunning number of precincts, sowing confusion and putting up barriers to voting. And, it targets female legislators. One way the plan targets women is by “double-bunking” them into districts with other incumbent legislators. That is the situation my good friend and colleague Rep. Deborah Ross find ourselves in.
Certainly, this is a tactic not unique to either party. But, it is important to note that the last time a Democratic controlled legislature engaged in redistricting was the recent Pender-New Hanover court-ordered redistricting. I chaired the committee that drew those districts. There, Rep. Danny McComas, a GOP incumbent lived a mere few hundred yards from the edge of his district. With an easy stroke of a pen, he could have been double-bunked with his fellow Republican Rep. Carolyn Justice. But, we chose to move beyond those kinds of games. We recognized that this sort of thing is a disservice to the voters who have elected those legislators to serve them in the General Assembly. We left Rep. McComas’ district unchanged. Both he and Rep. Justice were rehired by their constituents.
I wish the folks that drew the current district had moved further down the path we charted with Pender-New Hanover. But, they’ve gone back to the bad old days and beyond. In targeting female legislators, in particular, they’ve hit a new low. And, they’ve tried to make me part of that plan by double-bunking me with Rep. Ross. But, I’m not going to play along with their game. So, I have decided not to run for a 5th term in the House.
In making this decision, I am mindful that our job in the legislature is not centered around we legislators, but instead is rooted in serving our constituents. I am confident that my constituents in the current HD34 who are in the new HD34 will be extremely well-served by Deborah Ross, one of the most capable, ethical, and hard-working legislators ever to serve.
I look forward to continuing to serve you for the next ten months. And, as always, I am so grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve you.
Now, Hackney's statement:
Rep. Hackney statement on retirement of Rep. Grier Martin
"Rep. Martin has been one of the hardest working legislators in the General Assembly during his four terms in office. His ongoing military service allowed him to quickly establish himself as an expert in legislation to protect and serve the fighting men and women who protect and serve us. At the same time, he was a progressive voice in efforts to protect our environment, women's rights and to keep North Carolina a state that leads instead of follows. The people of Wake County will lose a great representative, but we are hopeful that Grier will find a way soon to return to public service."
Will update as we go.
The Republicans drew Martin and Rep. Deborah Ross into the same House district, forcing them to run against each other in the Democratic primary election unless one stepped aside. Ross has announced her candidacy. Martin — shades of Brad Miller when he found himself in the same congressional district as David Price — looked at the alternative and decided to move on.
Like Jennifer Weiss, who earlier announced that she isn't running again, Martin is highly respected and one of the best-liked members of the General Assembly.