Maine Gov. Paul LePage will call a special session of the state legislature on Sept. 27 to consider a Congressional redistricting plan, the Republican announced Thursday.
The line between Maine’s two districts is being drawn by a bipartisan commission, which is expected send its map to the Legislature at the end of August. A federal judge ordered that the state complete its Congressional redistricting by the end of September.
The Republican-held Legislature will need to pull in some Democratic votes to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to pass the map. If the map isn’t passed by Sept. 30, courts would take over the Congressional redistricting process in the Pine Tree State.
“Action by legislators is an important step to ensure our Congressional districts have fair representation from the people of Maine,” LePage said in a statement.
The GOP holds both chambers of the state Legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time in nearly five decades, and Republicans hope the new map will shift the vast 2nd district to strengthen a potential GOP challenger to Rep. Mike Michaud (D). The current 2nd district went 55 percent for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
Maine has had two seats in Congress since the 1960 census, when it lost one as a result of reapportionment. The Republican who last represented Maine in the House was one-term Rep. James Longley, who served from 1995 to 1997.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.