Georgia Senate Releases Proposed Congressional Map
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Late Monday, the Republican-controlled Georgia Senate released its first draft of U.S. congressional districts. Georgia’s special session, in which redistricting will be covered, doesn’t begin until November, but Lieutenant Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) and Sen. John F. Kennedy (R), chairman of the state Senate Redistricting and Reapportionment Committee, published the map “as soon as practicable” in an effort to provide “transparency and fairness.”
The Peach State’s population grew by nearly 10% over the past decade. While this population increase was not significant enough to add a new congressional seat, rural areas lost residents while the suburbs around Atlanta and Savannah saw explosive growth. Georgia’s congressional delegation currently has eight Republicans and six Democrats, as a diversifying population is pushing the traditionally conservative state more blue. Georgia’s 6th District exemplifies the state’s demographic shift; a seat once held by former Speaker of the House Newt Gringrich (R) was flipped by Rep. Lucy McBath (D) in 2018. Notably, the proposed map pushes more conservative areas into the 6th District with the hope that the GOP retakes the seat next November. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee critiqued the map as an “effort to dilute the political power of people of color as they have emerged as a political force.”
In Georgia, the state Legislature is in charge of redistricting. Since state House members can propose their own map and the two chambers must reach an agreement, the map is subject to change in the special session starting Nov. 3.