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Jeff Jackson’s holding pattern continues as 2024 campaign season shapes up

Democrat Jeff Jackson in Gaston County in an undated photo.
Jeff Jackson campaign
Democrat Jeff Jackson in Gaston County in an undated photo.

This story first appeared in WFAE reporter Steve Harrison's weekly newsletter. Sign up here to get the news first in your inbox.

Lots of dominoes are falling in North Carolina politics.

Republican Dan Bishop announced last month he’s leaving Congress to run for attorney general.

Gov. Roy Cooper endorsed Josh Stein last week in the race for governor, which was possibly an effort to keep North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan out of the race.

Republican Pat Harrigan announced last week he’s running for Congress in a Charlotte-area district, even though new maps haven’t been drawn.

These events all lead back to Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson, who represents a North Carolina district that includes half of Mecklenburg County and most of Gaston County. It’s a safe Democratic seat.

But the General Assembly is going to draw a new congressional map this fall. It’s expected Republicans will change three blue seats to red seats, including Jackson’s. Political observers believe that would likely push him to run for attorney general against Bishop.

Jackson recently released a video in which he told supporters that new maps are coming — and that Republicans will “use that as an opportunity to take me out."

As these dominoes fall and the 2024 races take shape, Jackson is like an airliner in a holding pattern.

He could announce now he’s running for attorney general.

But what if the GOP draws a purple seat that he could win?

That would be a big boost to Bishop’s chances of winning the attorney general race — since Jackson would arguably be the strongest opponent he could face.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.