The Georgia General Assembly’s Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment office has begun publishing maps in preparation for a special redistricting session beginning August 15.
These maps, available through the Georgia General Assembly’s website, reveal new district maps for Georgia’s 14 U.S. Congressional Districts, as well as the Georgia House and Georgia Senate.
An early draft of the 14 Congressional House districts shows a new district, courtesy of the 2010 Census, which gives Georgia an additional seat due to its growing population. The seat is slated to represent northeast Georgia, as the northern part of the state has gained significantly in population while central and southern Georgia have seen decreases in population.
The new map protects most incumbents on both sides of the aisle, while making a couple of districts potentially vulnerable in 2012.
- The new 14th district would represent Rabun, Habersham, Stephens, Towns, White, Union, Lumpkin, Hall, and Dawson counties, along with parts of Cherokee and Forsyth counties to give the district some presence in the metro Atlanta area.
- The first district, held by Jack Kingston, has a lot of territory lopped off to Austin Scott in the 8th. He also will lose the Statesboro and Savannah areas to the 12th district, currently held by John Barrow.
- Scott’s district becomes more Republican, with the addition of counties from the 1st, 7th (Rob Woodall) and 10th (Paul Broun) districts. Macon also moves from Scott’s district to the 2nd district, while southern GOP counties along the I-75 corridor come back over from the 2nd.
- Sanford Bishop, a Democrat who barely won re-election in November, gets Macon and part of the Columbus area. Like Scott, Bishop will have a new voting base which is more in his party’s column.
- Rob Woodall, in the 7th, loses Walton and Barrow counties to Paul Broun in the 10th, and his district now makes up just a majority of Gwinnett County and nothing else.
- GA-9, currently held by Tom Graves, gains Floyd, Bartow, Chattooga, and Gordon counties from the 11th, as well as part of Cherokee County, as the border of the district dips south. Phil Gingrey’s 11th district also moves further south, picking up the rest of Carroll County and parts of Douglas County from the 3rd district.
- John Lewis’s district, the 5th, creeps eastward into Dekalb County toward Decatur, southward into Henry County, and westward into the southeast part of Cobb County. Likewise, David Scott’s district moves south to take in most of Henry County.
- In the most bizarre cross-section of them all, Cobb County, the third-largest county in the state, is divided between FOUR Congressional districts in this draft – the 11th, the 6th, the 5th, and the 13th.
The incumbents who may have to worry most are Rob Woodall in the 7th and John Barrow in the 12th. Woodall, who won election by a 2:1 margin, loses Barrow and Walton, which went 3:1 for McCain in 2008, while Barrow will lose a lot of Democratic votes from Savannah.
Parts 2 and 3 will assess the changes to the State Senate and State House districts.