Courts & the Law, News

The Hill: National GOP mapmaker dies in Raleigh after battle with cancer

The father of unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps in North Carolina has died.

Tom Hofeller, 75, died Thursday at his adopted home in Raleigh after a long battle with cancer, one of his close friends told The Hill newspaper.

For more than four decades, when Republicans needed strategic advice drawing political boundaries, the party turned to a small cadre of expert cartographers, trained in the rare art of redistricting. At the heart of that group was Tom Hofeller.

A mild-mannered California native who rarely allowed himself to be quoted in the media, Hofeller may be more responsible for the Republican majority in Congress than any other single person in modern politics.

He is one of only a handful of people who helped create the modern redistricting process, first by crafting district lines meant to overcome decades of Democratic advantages and then by tilting the field in favor of Republicans in later years.

As both parties became more aware of the importance of drawing district lines, and more litigious when the lines were not drawn in their favor, Hofeller began consulting Republicans in charge of drawing maps in their states, urging caution and pragmatism in preparation for an inevitable court challenge.

Hofeller is responsible for drawing the gerrymandered North Carolina maps in 2011 and redrawing them last year after top Republicans re-hired him. Those same lawmakers haven’t commented publicly on his passing, but General Assembly special counsel Brent Woodcox called Hofeller a gentleman and a mentor on Twitter.

Several people commented on Twitter about Hofeller’s passing and the influence he had over elections through mapmaking.

Check Also

Judges: Voters unhappy with 2016 special session should take care of it at the ballot box, not in court

The judicial branch of government has no right ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor and celebrate the life of the civil [...]

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a resolution Thursday that would overturn a Trump administration [...]

North Carolina is projected to gain a U.S. House seat in the coming years, recent data show — a chan [...]

New facilities and policies offer hope to 16 and 17 year-olds once consigned to the adult correction [...]

And just like that, another critical election year is upon us – maybe the most important election ye [...]

The post An apple for teacher. appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

There is a temptation—and believe me, I understand it—to celebrate the fleeting nature of this week’ [...]

The North Carolina General Assembly is back in Raleigh this week and, as noted in this space last Fr [...]