Anticipated legislation forcing the city of Asheville to have districts for city council members has been officially filed. Republican Senator Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville filed the bill mandating 5 city council districts. One council member would be elected at large. The mayor would still be elected at large. The move towards districts was opposed by all other state lawmakers representing Buncombe County, as well as the Asheville city council and a large majority of Asheville voters in a November referendum. Many believe the move is a veiled attempt to elect Republicans. Edwards says the bill is about geographic representation. Mayor Esther Manheimer and council members have hinted a lawsuit is likely if a bill was to be filed.