Rep. Hank Johnson said he isnt concerned that Republicans controlling Georgias redistricting process will eliminate a seat held by a Democrat.
"We just came up with a better district, one that's more compact," state Senate Redistricting Chairman Kel Seliger (R) said.
But these changes could have big consequences for Rep. Ron Paul (R) of the current 14th district, who would find himself representing unfamiliar territory along the coastline if the map is passed. Although the district would still be a solid GOP seat, Paul, 75, is no stranger to primary challengers — and would be more susceptible to one from the northern part of the district if the new map passes.
Seliger said his counterparts in the House were made aware of the changes to east Texas before they were passed by the state Senate, but he cautioned it is now up to the other chamber to make whatever changes it sees fit.
While some Democrats are concerned redistricting lines could leave them with a smaller delegation in January 2013, Rep. Hank Johnson (D) said he has faith that Gov. Nathan Deal (R) will be fair to the state's Congressional delegation because he once served in it himself.
"We got a governor here who understands — who has served in Congress for many years, and he understands how important it is that these Congressional districts are fairly apportioned," Johnson said in an interview with Roll Call.
Deal won the governorship last fall after serving in Congress for 17 years.
Georgia gained one seat following reapportionment. It's likely the new district will be anchored in Hall County, northeast of Atlanta, where both Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) are from. The area has seen significant population growth over the past decade. Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop and John Barrow are considered the most vulnerable Members in the state.
"Right now, everyone is on pins and needles," Johnson said.
The Georgia Legislature is expected to be called into a special redistricting session in mid-August.
Johnson thinks things will all work out. "I anticipate that Georgia will not be among the states that have to challenge the redistricting," he said.
Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Georgia must get its new Congressional lines approved by either the Department of Justice or a federal court. As Roll Call reported last month, Republicans are considering bypassing DOJ and going directly to the courts instead.
Oregon: Miles Apart on Map, Plan Will Head to Court
Legislators agreed Tuesday to new state legislative district boundaries but remain far apart on an agreement for Congressional lines, setting up a likely legal fight over the state's five House districts.
After both parties derided the first proposed Congressional map, Democrats in the state Legislature submitted a second Congressional plan three weeks ago. But the process is still likely to head to the courts.
In fact, a Republican lawsuit has already been filed in state court asking for a three-judge panel to produce a nonpartisan plan, the Oregonian newspaper recently reported. The party hoped to get a jump on the process, even though the Legislature still has time to complete a plan.
Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.
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