North Carolina Democrat Rep. Wiley Nickel announced Thursday that he won’t seek reelection under new congressional maps in the state and floated a possible future Senate run, arguing the Republicans who approved the district lines “rigged the system” in their favor.
“Republicans have rigged the system to favor themselves and I don’t have a path to run for re-election in the 13th district,” Nickel said in a statement shared to X.
“But I’m not giving up and neither should you. Next year, I’m going to be working to elect North Carolina Democrats up and down the ballot in 2024. Then, in January I’m going to look to flip our US Senate seat blue.”
Wiley was among a handful of House Democrats in North Carolina who were heavily threatened by the new maps. The midterms saw seven Democrats and seven Republicans elected to the congressional delegation, but the changes are expected to shift the balance to favor Republicans in as many as 11 of the 14 districts.
Last week, Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) announced that she won’t seek reelection to her House seat in 2024 under the “egregiously gerrymandered” maps, but left the door open to running again if legal challenges against the redistricting prevail.
“I would love nothing more than to continue representing our community in Congress. Unfortunately, the egregiously gerrymandered maps do not make this race competitive, and I cannot in good conscience ask people to invest their time, resources and efforts in a campaign that is rigged against us,” Manning said in a statement.
Another Democrat from the Tar Heel State, Rep. Jeff Jackson, announced he won’t try for another term and will run instead in the state’s attorney general race.
If Wiley jumps into the Senate race, he’ll likely be up against Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis, who is up for reelection in 2026.
Republican state lawmakers “can’t gerrymander a statewide election,” Nickel said Thursday.
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