Tag: congressional map

WA Redistricting: Congressional Map Proposal of Bipartisan Team Released

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Redistricting Commission announced its proposal for a new congressional map this morning and made public the two maps below for review.

The first map shows the proposal for the entire state map and the second is an inset of the Puget Sound region showing the position of a new 10th congressional district and the creation of a majority-minority seat from Rep. Adam Smith’s 9th district in South King County.

Visit the Redistricting Commission website for detailed state and inset maps with zoom capability.

A more complete analysis of today’s map will is being compiled. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to be notified as soon as it is available.


WA Redistricting: Democrats Fool Minorities Again, No Open Congressional Majority-Minority Seat on Final Map

Surprises may be in store for politicos and voters when the State Redistricting Commission meets Wednesday morning in Olympia, reportedly to reveal the final congressional map agreed on by at least three of the commission’s four voting members, based on early information from a source with the commission.

Although the precise precinct-by-precinct details of the map are being withheld, the map produced in talks between Senate Democratic appointee Tim Ceis and Senate Republican appointee Slade Gorton and described to us includes political upsides for both parties heading into a critical election season, but has ignored the comments made most frequently at public hearings held across the state.

Certainly, changes in many districts are noteworthy, and will generate both thunderous applause and storms of controversy through the corridors of political power.

For example, Rep. Jay Inslee’s (D) bid to become governor is still an uncertain proposition, but renovation is already underway in the 1st congressional district he is vacating. No longer straddling the Puget Sound, the 1st will reportedly stay on the mainland and reach far north into what is currently the 2nd congressional district. The changes draw in many among the throng of potential Democratic and Republican candidates seeking to succeed Inslee, creating what should be the liveliest congressional primary in the state next year.

A substantial remodel is also said to be planned for the seat held by Rep. Dave Reichert (R) whose 8th congressional district will lose a large portion of its current stake in Pierce and South King Counties and drive over the Cascades into the Eastern Washington counties of Chelan and Kittitas. Recent voter trends suggest the redesigned 8th should still lean Republican, fueling speculation that Reichert might mount a challenge to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) next year.

The map the public sees this morning will give almost everyone something to talk about, almost that is except for an active group of residents who, ironically, have been talking to the commission since the beginning of the redistricting process early this year.

Since early in Washington State’s 2011 redistricting process, representatives from minority groups showed up at public hearings, repeatedly calling for the creation of a congressional district containing a majority population of minority residents.

Lamentations organized by minority voting rights group OneAmerica complained of poor congressional representation in areas with larger minority populations, and high on their wish list was to situate the new 10th congressional district in a majority-minority area to give candidates from those communities an opportunity to run for the open seat.

OneAmerica took the initiative to draw a “Unity Map,” placing the dream district in the area south of Seattle down to the Pierce County line and eastward into the communities feeding the Highway 167 corridor.

When proposed maps were introduced by each of the four redistricting commissioners in mid-September, all but one commissioner – House Democratic appointee Dean Foster – did not feature some form of majority-minority district in the south King County area. (House Republican appointee Tom Huff drew his proposed 10th congressional seat to almost the exact specifications of the Unity Map.)

After all the build-up – nada. Well, almost nada.

The final congressional map said to be agreed to by the four-man commission is reported to place the wide open new 10th congressional district in Thurston County (the area the Democratic establishment has sought to procure for former state representative Denny Heck to wage his second attempt to win a seat in the U.S. House), while the 9th congressional district is drawn into South King County and portions of the lower eastside of Lake Washington, giving minority activists the majority-minority district they desired but with baggage in the form of incumbent Democrat Rep. Adam Smith (D).

Some may see the agreement reached concerning the creation of a majority-minority district as half a loaf, an appeasement born of the need to protect Smith as an incumbent and launch Heck’s congressional career. If minorities respond unfavorably to these developments, it could be one more sign that the political marriage of convenience between minorities and the Democratic Party is becoming less expedient.


[photo credit: baboon™]

WA Redistricting: Agreement Reached on New Congressional Districts, Map as Early as Tomorrow

Initial proposals from Washington's redistricting commissioners created a patchwork needing significant compromise.

An agreement has been reached between the four voting members of the state redistricting commission on a new map of Washington State’s Congressional districts, a source with the Washington State Redistricting Commission confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Details about the map and how the new boundaries could affect incumbents or candidates are not being discussed in advance of tomorrow anticipated public unveiling. The new district lines will reapportion the state’s growing population to account for shifts noted in the 2010 U.S. Census and make room for a new 10th Congressional District.

When the map is revealed, most eyes will focus on key battlegrounds in Western Washington, specifically the districts of incumbent Reps. Dave Reichert (R, WA-08), Adam Smith (D, WA-09), Jay Inslee (D, WA-01), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R, WA-03).

Population trends in the Greater Puget Sound region – relative to state growth, the Olympia Peninsula and Seattle have been shrinking compared to East King County, and Pierce and Clark Counties – have made political fortress-making a more challenging endeavor for Democrats. Speculation has persisted that voters in long-held Democratic precincts could be exposed to new Republican leadership as the 6th Congressional District home of Rep. Norm Dicks (D, WA-06) seeks to preserve a power base on friendlier soil in Central Puget Sound.

The district of Rep. Jay Inslee (D, WA-01) is another flashpoint of interest. Inslee’s candidacy for governor makes the 1st Congressional District an open seat and the final map could draw in or out a number of challengers in both parties who have expressed interest replacing him.

Though conservatives in the 2nd Congressional District have looked forward to a rematch of the 2010 race between incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen (D) and Republican John Koster, it still remains possible that the popular challenger could be drawn into the 1st. Inslee’s challenger in 2010 – Republican James Watkins – has also indicated interest in running again in the 1st.


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