Sept. 19, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Between the Lines: Roll Crimson Tide — Governor Signs Map in Alabama

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Rep. Hank Johnson said he isn’t concerned that Republicans controlling Georgia’s redistricting process will eliminate a seat held by a Democrat.

Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Wednesday signed into law a new Congressional map that significantly strengthens the seats of the delegation's Republican Members in competitive districts.

Top Republicans in the state said the Congressional delegation "is good with these maps." And for good reason.

The new map shores up GOP voters in the 2nd district, where Rep. Martha Roby (R) defeated former Rep. Bobby Bright (D) last year. Under the new map, the black voting-age population in the district decreases slightly and the number of GOP voters increases slightly, according to numbers crunched by a Republican source. Most significantly, the district loses western Montgomery County and Lowndes County, which backed Bright over Roby last year by 48 points. Those counties move to the heavily Democratic and majority-black 7th district, currently represented by the delegation's only Democrat, Rep. Terri Sewell.

The map also strengthens GOP chances of keeping the northern Alabama 5th district, which, until former Rep. Parker Griffith switched parties in 2009 and became a Republican, had been represented by a Democrat for more than 100 years. Rep. Mo Brooks (R) beat Democrat Steve Raby in every county in the 5th, except Lawrence. The good news for Brooks: Lawrence County will be moved out of his district along with Colbert County, which swung for Brooks by the thinnest of margins only 251 votes. Those two counties will be part of the heavily Republican 4th district, represented by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R).

Rep. Mike Rogers' 3rd district is also significantly more Republican under the new map. It now includes all of St. Claire County, which went for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with 81 percent in the 2008 presidential election. "Although the 3rd has been a good conservative district, Democrats in the state, for some reason, always think they had a chance of winning that," said a Republican source in Alabama. "And now, I think, it's out of reach."

Texas: Infamous Shrimp District Gets Cooked

The state Senate passed a Congressional map Monday, sending its proposal for the state's 36 House districts including four new seats to the state House.

But the GOP-controlled chamber made some changes to the map originally proposed jointly by House and Senate leaders last week. Most of those changes were in east Texas.

In the first proposed Congressional map, a new 36th district sprawled from north of Houston and around the 2nd and 8th all the way to the Gulf of Mexico coastline producing an odd form that was immediately dubbed "the shrimp district" by local media. The Senate tweaked the 36th before passing the map, moving it eastward to the state's border and including Chambers, Liberty, Hardin, Orange, Newton, Jasper, Tyler and Polk counties.

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