WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed new congressional and state legislative districts into law, making Oregon the first state to enact a new congressional map this year. The move came after a turbulent week in the Oregon Legislature, with a COVID-19 case and a Republican walkout threatening to prevent Democrats, who control redistricting in the state, from passing new districts before a Monday deadline. Had the Legislature not acted, legislative redistricting would have been turned over to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D) and congressional redistricting to a panel of judges.
Due to strong population growth during the last decade, Oregon gained a sixth district in Congress. In a concession to Republicans, the plan Democrats approved yesterday includes three safe Democratic seats, one safe Republican seat, one seat that leans to Democrats and one highly competitive seat. The highly competitive seat includes fast-growing Bend, where pro-Democratic trends will likely make the seat bluer over the next decade. The state legislative plans, meanwhile, are expected to maintain Democrats’ edge in the Legislature.