Georgia Rep. McBath’s Move to New Congressional District Highlights Republican Strength, Says Candidate Jake Evans

U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) on Monday announced that she will run in a different district established by Georgia’s redistricting process, abandoning her current district.

Republican Jake Evans, a candidate for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, argued the move by McBath highlights growing support for the GOP as the 2022 elections approach.

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Several City Council Districts in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee Likely to Shift

Metropolitan Nashville’s (MetroNashville) Council, the legislature for the city of Nashville and Davidson County, is currently preparing to consider a second draft of the its newly revised Council-district map.

A number of Nashville Council’s 35 districts stand to change dramatically, particularly with districts losing land mass in the city’s northeast, as population growth there has not kept pace with the city’s southern area.

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North Carolina Adopts New Congressional Map That Favors Republicans

The North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday finalized the state’s new U.S. House map that gives Republicans a distinct advantage over Democrats.

The map creates 10 safe Republican seats, three safe Democratic seats and one competitive seat, up from the current 8-5 map now. North Carolina is the only state where the legislature has full control over the redistricting process, meaning that the new lines can skirt what would be an all but certain veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and go into effect.

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Sumner County Using Redistricting to Make Unprecedented Changes to County Commission Structure

Sumner County schools virtual meeting

The Sumner County Board of Commissioners is using redistricting required every 10 years following completion of the U.S. census in 2020 to potentially make significant and unprecedented changes to the county commission districts.

Sumner County currently has 12 county commission districts with two commissioners per district, but redistricting has opened the door to making 24 districts with one commissioner per district.

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Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann to Retire, Won’t Seek Reelection

Karen Fann

Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) on Monday announced that she will retire when her current term ends and will not seek reelection in 2022.

Fann, who was a key supporter of the audit of ballots in Maricopa County, has served 28 years in state and local government positions. 

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Clarify That Courts Can’t Redraw Electoral Maps, as State Supreme Court Did in 2018

Legislation currently in the works in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would spell out two rules for redistricting in the Keystone State: Elections cannot legally take place in outdated districts and courts can’t create new districts themselves.

In Feb. 2018, the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court not only struck down Pennsylvania’s congressional maps as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, it reimposed new maps created with no input from the legislature, something state law does not grant the court the right to do. The new maps strongly favored the Democrats’ electoral prospects.

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Ohio Supreme Court Rules the State’s Redistricting Commission Members Can Be Deposed

Republican members of Ohio’s redistricting commission will have to answer questions as part of three lawsuits challenging new state legislative district maps, the Ohio Supreme Court said.

Groups such as the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed lawsuits, claiming the legislative maps are unconstitutional and gerrymandered. The Ohio Supreme Court has jurisdiction over lawsuits that challenge redistricting.

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This Fall and Winter, Redistricting Will Occupy Minds of Tennessee Politicians and Activists on the State and Local Levels

Tennessee State Capitol at night in winter

After the finalization of the U.S. Census every ten years, state and local governments set about redrawing their lawmakers’ and school directors’ district lines.

Throughout this fall and winter, legislators across the state will toil over this process sure to directly impact many of their futures. Although political considerations inevitably loom large in redistricting, the proceedings are theoretically intended to make districts as compact and contiguous as possible—i.e. to ensure that they don’t look like irregular puzzle pieces.

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Republican Congressional Candidate Robby Starbuck Announces Ric Grenell Endorsement and How He’ll Put Liberty Above All Else

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Republican candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck to the newsmakers line to announce his endorsement from former DNI Ric Grenell.

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Tennessee House Committee Begins Redistricting Process

The Tennessee House Select Committee on Redistricting held its first of many meetings on Wednesday, starting the process of refitting the Volunteer State’s legislative districts to correspond to population changes. 

“Over the course of the next several months, this committee will work together to develop a fair and constitutional redistricting plan for the state House, Senate and Congress,” committee Chair Curtis Johnson (R-TN-Clarksville) said.

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House Speaker Cameron Sexton Establishes First Bipartisan House Select Committee on Redistricting

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) on Thursday announced that he will create the first-ever bipartisan House Select Committee on Redistricting, as state legislators prepare to draw new legislative districts.

The committee, which will be tasked with navigating the process of analyzing state data to help draw new maps, will feature a total of 16 House members: 12 Republican and 4 Democratic members. 

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‘Voters Not Politicians,’ Which Rebuked Michigan Redistricting Commission for Hiring Republican Firm, Has Its Own Partisan Ties

The nonprofit Voters Not Politicians (VNP) has stridently criticized the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) for hiring a GOP-aligned law firm, but VNP’s own leftist agenda and political ties are getting little media attention.

The Lansing-based “nonpartisan” organization spearheaded the Proposal 2 referendum which created the MICRC to oversee legislative and congressional redistricting free of gerrymandering. 

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Moses Sanchez Announces Campaign for Phoenix City Council to Replace Term Limited Sal DiCiccio

With popular conservative Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio term limited, local activist and professor Moses Sanchez, a Republican, announced he is running for the District 6 slot based in Ahwatukee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Phoenix in 2018, a difficult race for Republicans since Phoenix has more Democrats, but District 6 leans Republican. 

“I’m proud to call Ahwatukee home,” he said in a statement on August 11. “I’ve raised my family in Phoenix, served on our local school board, run for Mayor, and worked to grow a small business. I’m running for Phoenix City Council to provide the same opportunities this city has given me and stand up for the most overlooked community in Phoenix.”

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Virginia Redistricting Commission Replaces Marvin Gilliam with Virginia Trost-Thornton

Virginia Trost Redistricting Committee

Virginia Trost-Thornton became the newest member of the Virginia Redistricting Commission (VRC) on Monday, replacing Republican citizen member Marvin W. Gilliam Jr.

Made up of both state legislators and other appointees, the VRC is tasked with the redrawing of congressional and state legislative districts.

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Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman Discusses His Recent Article in The Wall Street Journal on Gerrymandering

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former Supreme Court justice, Stephen Markman of the state of Michigan, to weigh in on his recent article at the Wall Street Journal addressing redistricting and gerrymandering.

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Arizona Legislature Overrides Ducey’s Veto

Doug Ducey

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-5 Thursday to override Governor Doug Ducey’s veto of a bill that made technical corrections to previously enacted laws. Ducey vetoed SB1635 along with 21 other bills a month ago, following through on a threat he’d made in May over the legislature’s failing to send him a budget. It was the first time in 40 years, the Arizona Senate has overruled the governor.

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Redistricting Will Not Be Complete in Time for 2021 House of Delegates Elections

Redistricting for Virginia’s legislative districts will not be complete in time for the 2021 House of Delegates elections, according to a draft timeline presented at a Virginia Redistricting Commission (VRC) meeting Tuesday. Census data is not expected until mid-August, which starts a 45-day timeline for the commission to send completed House and Senate maps to the General Assembly. As a result, Virginia may have House of Delegates races three years in a row: 2021, 2022 based on new districts, and the regularly scheduled 2023 election.

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Retired Judges Select Eight Citizens to Serve on Virginia Redistricting Commission

A selection committee of five retired judges on Wednesday chose the eight citizens who will serve on the Virginia Redistricting Commission, completing the membership determination process for the newly-implemented body tasked with proposing plans for redrawing the Commonwealth’s 111 congressional and legislative districts.

The judges met for several hours on Wednesday morning and had to come up with the eight names from a pool of 62 finalists.

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Legislative Leaders Pick Citizen Finalists for Virginia Redistricting Commission

The four legislative leaders of the House of Delegates and state Senate picked 62 citizen finalists last Friday to be considered for eight available spots on Virginia’s new redistricting commission.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax), House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City) were responsible for making lists of 16 citizens out of more than 1,200 applicants. 

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In Final Days as Attorney General, DeWine Files Motion to Dismiss Ohio Redistricting Lawsuit

Gov.-elect Mike DeWine (R-OH) appears to be making every last day of his tenure as Attorney General count. This week, DeWine filed a motion to have an upcoming gerrymandering lawsuit tossed out. The suit would mandate the redrawing of all of Ohio’s 16 congressional districts before the 2020 election. In May of…

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Ten Laws That Spell Major Changes for Ohio in 2019

In terms of legislation, 2018 may be considered one of Ohio’s most impactful years in recent history. From the approval of the first medicinal marijuana dispensary to new abortion limitations, 2019 will see a dramatic change for many Ohioans. Compiled below are ten of the most significant changes coming to the…

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Supreme Court Lets Contested District Maps In Texas, NC Remain In Effect

SCOTUS, North Carolina, Texas

by Kevin Daley   The U.S. Supreme Court Monday cleared the way for Texas and North Carolina to use a set of contested legislative district lines, declining to side with plaintiffs who alleged the maps were gerrymandered for partisan or racial advantage. The decisions come one week after the high…

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