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Rep. Brad Miller opened the door Friday to representing North Carolina’s 4th district, currently represented by a fellow Democrat, Rep. David Price. Complicating matters, Price said he's running for re-election in the 4th.
Miller, who currently represents the 13th district, was drawn into the 4th under a redistricting map that became law earlier this week.
Miller told Roll Call that he thought a primary between him and Price would be “very unlikely,” but he stressed that the 4th “includes a lot of very familiar territory for me."
"It would be a district that I would be very pleased to represent. I would love to represent my hometown as well as the town I live in now,” said Miller, who was born and grew up in Fayetteville, in the 4th under the new lines.
“Obviously, I think, both David and I would prefer to avoid” a primary, Miller said. “I would like to continue to serve in Congress, and I would like to continue to serve with David.”
What ends up happening is far from clear because Price, now serving his 12th term, said he plans to run in the 4th.
He said he would not be retiring and told Roll Call in a statement that he will “look forward to representing the district in whatever form it emerges.”
“I am also working with the other members of our delegation on a challenge in court to the Legislature’s statewide map, which we believe is unfair and illegal," Price said.
Miller also emphasized that the new lines would be challenged in court and that no decisions would be made by the delegation until it was clear what the new lines would be. But he also appeared to step away from continuing to represent the new 13th. As Roll Call has reported, the new district is far less favorable to Democrats.
Miller said the new 13th “does not include much of the district I’ve represented or what has been my political base, where I draw support and votes.” He noted Price “has represented more of the new 13th than I have represented.”
But Miller also acknowledged the steep political climb he or another Democrat would have in the new 13th. “Certainly the 13th was designed by the Legislature to be very inhospitable to me and very inhospitable, really, to any Democrat,” he said.
The new 13th would have voted only 37 percent for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in the 2004 presidential election and 45 percent for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. The current 13th went 51 percent for Kerry and 59 percent for Obama.