HB-263 already impacting candidate filing in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- State lawmakers will try to shrink Greensboro’s City Council again -- maybe as soon as Thursday.

It is part of a bill Senator Trudy Wade has been trying to get passed for months. HB-263 includes redrawing Greensboro district lines, getting rid of at-large positions and taking away the mayor’s right to vote unless there is a tie.

A joint committee made changes to the bill Wednesday, which include a new district map with eight council districts.

The State House is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday, but it’s already impacting Guilford County candidate filing, which is supposed to start Monday.

“For my colleagues that are double-bunked or five members in one district as it is right now, that brings a lot of uncertainty there. They have to look at -- am I going to run? Am I going to run against my colleague? Or not run at all?” said Greensboro City Council Member Jamal Fox.

Fox may not know what his district will look like or who his opponents will be, but says he plans to file for re-election in District Two on Monday no matter what.

But that isn’t an option for everyone.

Councilwoman Marikay Abuzuaiter says the situation is very frustrating because she still doesn’t know if she’ll be filing for an At-Large position or a district seat.

Candidates aren’t the only ones waiting on a decision.

“Anything can happen between now and Sunday, and we have to be prepared,” said Tim Tsujii, with Guilford County Board of Elections. “For the voters, the biggest effect will be changing districts. Our office plans on sending out voter registration cards to notify voters where their new precincts and polling places will be.”

If HB-263 passes, candidate filing for Greensboro would be postponed until the end of July. The General Election would then happen in October, with a run-off election scheduled for November.