Maine Passes New Map, Avoids Major Changes
The Maine House and Senate passed a compromise redistricting plan today that leaves the political contours of the Pine Tree State’s two Congressional districts about the same.
Republicans, who control both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s mansion, had earlier floated plans that would have dramatically shifted both districts, drawn Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) out of her district and made Rep. Mike Michaud (D) significantly more vulnerable. But the plan that passed would have a negligible effect on the political tilt of both districts. It also leaves the hometowns of Pingree and Michaud within the districts they each represent.
“This is a victory for Maine people,” state Rep. Emily Cain, the House Democratic leader, said in a statement.
The college city of Waterville and the town of Winslow, both of which went heavily for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, would be shifted into the 1st district under the plan. Also under the plan, 11 towns in Kennebec County would be moved from the 1st district to the 2nd. Plugged-in Democrats in the state and calculations by a Republican source said the bent of the Democratic-leaning district remains similar to its present configuration. Michaud won the 2nd district with 55 percent of the vote in 2010.
But with Maine Senate President Kevin Raye (R) eyeing a bid to take on Michaud, who was first elected in 2002, Republicans still think the 2nd district might be attainable.
A person familiar with Raye’s thinking said he would likely make a decision on a run by the late fall.
Multiple phone messages left with the communications director of Republican Gov. Paul LePage were not returned Tuesday. But sources with knowledge of the process said they expect the redistricting bill to be signed into law.