Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson’s political future won’t be known for at least two more weeks after the Utah Legislature’s redistricting committee opted late Tuesday night to consider additional plans for a new map.
On the second day of a special session, the Legislature postponed dealing with Congressional redistricting until Oct. 17. A map agreed to by the committee last week and approved by the state Senate on Monday would have made it difficult for Matheson to win re-election, though he has won in a tough district since 2000.
But state Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis called the proposed new district “hideous” and said Republicans had “gone to new lows” by drawing a map for political gain.
“If they don’t give him a decent map, then he’ll run probably for either governor or Senator,” Dabakis told Roll Call. “He has a very special appeal, and both Democrats and moderate, reasonable Republicans like him because he is so independent. He might do really well if he runs for governor.”
Republican consultant Jeff Hartley said Matheson should not be counted out if his district is drawn unfavorably. But winning a statewide race is another matter.
“I personally don’t think a Democrat can win statewide in Utah right now,” Hartley said. “If you look at some of the counties that are very strongly Republican, I think it’s statistically impossible for a Democrat to win statewide.”
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.