District 59 contenders (copy) (copy)

District 59 Rep. Jon Hardister at the News & Record in 2016.

National studies indicate that most Americans believe our government and people are more divided and distrustful of others than ever before. It’s easy to be cynical in the face of political gridlock and infighting, but there’s cause for hope: There are people in both political parties in North Carolina working together to end partisan gerrymandering, a root cause of division. Partisan gerrymandering has been practiced by both parties in our state and it will take people of good faith in both parties to end it.

In this legislative session, a bipartisan group of legislators are working to reform the way our state draws voting districts. One of the leaders is Rep. Jon Hardister. Rep Hardister is a Republican. I’m a Democrat.

But, more importantly, we’re both North Carolinians who care about our state. I applaud Rep. Hardister for his leadership on this issue and for being a primary co-sponsor of the FAIR Act (HB 140), a constitutional amendment proposal that would create nonpartisan rules that all legislators must follow when drawing voting districts.

This session is the time to come together and enact reform. Thank you, Rep. Hardister.

Tom Ross


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The writer is the former president of the UNC System.