Facing a political future made bleak by redistricting, Representative Tim Spear will soon have to make a decision.  Will he choose to run in District 6, his present home district, against a popular Democrat?  Will he change his residency to Dare County and run in District 3, potentially challenging his close political allies in Dare County?  Or will he call it quits?  For now, Spear is keeping his cards close to his chest.

Spear’s home county of Washington has been thrown into House District 6, a District currently represented by Bill Cook of Beaufort County.  Cook is a freshman Republican Representative, having defeated Democratic incumbent Arthur Williams in 2010 by a margin of 53/47.  The new district is comprised of Beaufort, Washington and Craven Counties.  While the old District 6 leaned Republican, it was ranked R+2 on the North Carolina Partisan Index, the new District 6 may be actually lean a little Democratic.  This sets up a potentially interesting scenario on the Democratic side;  Spear versus Williams.  Art Williams is popular in Beaufort County and may not be eager to walk away from his political career which was derailed last year when he lost to Cook.   Likewise, Spear has given no indication that he’s ready to retire from public service.  A bloody primary battle would drain the Democrats’ already limited resources giving Cook a big financial edge going into the General election, assuming he is unchallenged.

Spear, however, has another option.  He could relocate to Dare County, where he owns a home, and run for the House District 3 seat against Republican incumbent Norm Sanderson.  Regular readers of this blog will remember that Spear purchased a home in Dare County in February last year.  The house is located at 103 E. Durham street, one lot off the bypass, across the street from K-Mart.  After driving by that house week after week after week, this blogger sees no evidence that this house is presently being occupied by the Spear family.  That, however, would not preclude Spear from taking up residence there within the next few months and filing to run from Dare County.  Having seen the writing on the wall last year, Spear may have anticipated being redistricted out of Dare County and purchased that home as a hedge.  Even so, there’s no guarantee that Spear would run unopposed in the Democratic primary.  Dare has more than its share of ambitious Democratic political figures, among them, Spear’s political allies Commissioners Warren Judge and Virginia Tillet.  Should Spear contemplate carpetbagger status in District 3, he’ll be wise to remember that he lost Dare County soundly in 2010 to Republican Bob Steinburg.

Truth or Dare’s Prediction:  Spear will stay in District 6 and abandon Dare County.  The voter registration statistics in District 6 (51D/29R/20U) are far more favorable to him than those in District 3 (41D/32R/28U).  In addition, his close relationship with the Dare County public officials, his loss here in 2010 and his deep family roots in Washington County will keep him in Creswell.

Click here to see the Washington Daily News’ take on the District 6  race