It’s not an exaggeration to say every seat will matter in the fight for control of the House next year, since Democrats need a net gain of just five seats to take control of the chamber. And ongoing redistricting battles continue to shake up these pivotal House races.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Georgia ruled that the state’s current congressional map violates the Voting Rights Act, writing in his ruling that “in certain areas of the state, the political process is not equally open to Black voters.” The judge ordered the state legislature to draw new congressional district boundaries by Dec. 8.
And earlier this week in North Carolina, the Republican-controlled legislature approved a new congressional map that favors Republicans, potentially shifting four seats in their favor.
That has shaken up some House races. On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson announced that he would run for state attorney general after his district became much more Republican-leaning.
Politico reports that the new North Carolina map “would likely lock in 10 Republicans and three Democrats, with one competitive battleground seat that Democratic Rep. Don Davis currently holds.”
Davis does already have a Republican challenger: retired Army Col. Laurie Buckhout. She recently told NBC News she would take on Davis regardless of where the new congressional lines ended up.
Buckhout is among a trio of GOP recruits who launched their campaigns amid the chaos in the House as Republicans tried to agree on the speaker. Buckhout and the two other candidates said the infighting did not deter them from running, arguing that they can bring some change to the House as political outsiders.
In other campaign news:
Biden campaign theory: NBC’s Matt Dixon, Dasha Burns and Alex Tabet explore a conspiracy theory gaining ground among Republicans that powerful Democrats will replace President Joe Biden as the party’s nominee before the general election next year.
Tense moment: In a video obtained by NBC’s Jonathan Allen and Allan Smith, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy confronted Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst about comments she made criticizing his position on the war between Israel and Hamas.
Shrinking primary field: Conservative radio host Larry Elder ended his longshot campaign for president on Thursday, and endorsed former President Donald Trump in the contest.
Pence’s point: Former Vice President Mike Pence’s presidential campaign is struggling, but NBC’s Sarah Dean writes that running for president has also been about redefining his legacy, and not allowing it to be defined by former President Donald Trump.
Junior vs. Junior: At an appearance in Iowa, Donald Trump Jr. criticized Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential campaign, calling it, “a Democrat plant to hurt the Trump thing.”
Retirement alert: Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., announced Thursday that he won’t seek re-election in his safe Democratic seat after almost 18 years in office, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Facing expulsion: House Republicans from New York are forcing a vote to expel Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., from the House amid an ongoing ethics probe and pending criminal charges against Santos for wire fraud, identity theft and more. Santos would only be expelled from the House following a two-thirds majority vote in favor of the resolution, NBC’s Rebecca Kaplan, Kyle Stewart and Dareh Gregorian report.
‘War with itself’: NBC’s Mike Hixenbaugh explores the internal strife within the Texas Republican Party — and what it could mean for the future of the GOP nationally.