Along with the growing power of Republicans in Raleigh has come another phenomenon: the growing clout of Mecklenburg County's towns and suburbs.
Democrats may still control the county delegation (albeit by one vote) but the real power is on the other side.
Thom Tillis of Cornelius is the House speaker. Rep. Bill Brawley of Matthews, in only his second term, has emerged as a player on big issues like the proposed airport authority and the bid for state money to upgrade Bank of America Stadium.
As co-chair of Senate Finance, Bob Rucho of Matthews is leading the effort to change the state's tax system. And Sen. Jeff Tarte of Cornelius, a freshman who represents five of the county's six small towns, has hit the ground running. He'll be the point man on an issue sure to affect a lot of country residents -- fixing the revaluation mess.
Meanwhile, Democrats from Charlotte are still figuring out how to navigate the legislature in a position still foreign to those who've been around a while, as the minority. Former Democratic House Speaker Jim Black was from Matthews, but was part of a delegation dominated by Charlotte Democrats.