I’ve had so many ask me what I know about the new Georgia State Senate map, I thought I’d put it all up here and refer people here to get the scoop and do a bit of shameless self promotion.
So, here is what I know:
The maps are probably going to be unchanged in the State Senate, changed in the State House, and the judges will redraw them, which will actually benefit the Republicans.
One of the sore spots is Bibb County, where I am. The State Senate drew the districts from the outside in, so when they go to the center of the state, the center had to be divided. As a result, the Republicans in Bibb County are upset that they may have three Senators, two of whom do not live in the county.
George Hooks (D-Americus) is upset because his district has cut him off from his base. While his home county, Sumter, is still in, Dougherty, Lee, and Muscogee, the finacial and population bases are cut out. Instead, heavily Republican North Bibb County and Monroe counties were brought in.
He and several other Democrats are looking to trade precincts with some of their liberal leaning GOP colleagues who are unhappy with their districts. Seth Harp (R-Columbus) got shafted by the State Senate for some unpopular things he has done. His district did stretch halfway across the state, how it goes about a 1/3 of the way across the state.
The President Pro Tem of the Senate does not want any trading done between Harp and Hooks because, while Hooks has $300,000.00 in the bank, the GOP thinks it can talk a Bibb County resident with deep pockets to run against Hooks. The GOP is probably overly optimistic. However, Bush would have won Hooks’ newly drawn district.
So, as it stands, the State Senate and State House appear that they will draw their own districts and the State House map will be vetoed by the Governor for having multi-member districts. The State Senate promises to uphold that veto, which in turn will make the State House obstruct the State Senate map, which in turn will require the three judge panel to draw the maps.
Are you lost yet?
To further complicate things is the still undecided fate of the 2001 State Senate map, which would currently come back into force if a three judge panel considering it says the map is fine. That would then open up more litigation because the map is so similar to a map a different three judge panel ruled unconstitutional last week.
Now are you lost?
My bet: Bank on a last minute compromise to allow the State Senate to stay Republican, the State House to stay Democrat, and the Leiutenant Governor to go on the war path because he will be further marginalized in a Senate controlled by the Republican Party. The Lt.Gov. will commence his campaign for Governor once the map issue is settled.