By Ramsey Cox and Elise Viebeck - 10/24/11 09:00 AM EDT
Florida, which gained two new districts, has barely started redrawing its maps, despite needing preclearance and having an early primary. Florida’s state House Congressional Redistricting subcommittee began hearings last month.
The redistricting commission on Oct. 3 approved a draft map. The public comment period continues until November. Republicans and Democrats both express disapproval.
Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a new map into law Thursday. Rep. Jim Matheson, the state’s only Democrat in Congress, says it alters his district so drastically that he may challenge another sitting House member, or run for Senate or the governorship.
The redistricting commission drafted four maps in September and narrowed it down to just two in October. The commission set a goal of Nov. 8 to finalize their decision but it has until Jan. 1 to agree on a final map.
The map was completed in June, yet faces legal challenges from Republicans who say the map favored Democrats and failed to create a Hispanic district. The map pits GOP Reps. Joe Walsh and Randy Hultgren.
Iowa was the first state to finish its redistricting map back in April. Rather than face a primary challenge against Rep. Steve King (R), Rep. Tom Latham (R) decided to move and challenge Democratic Rep. Rep. Leonard Boswell in the new 3rd district.
Louisiana also finished its redistricting process in April, but had to wait for preclearance approval from the Department of Justice, which came Aug. 1. Freshman Rep. Jeff Landry (R) was the odd man out and hasn’t decided whether he’ll challenge another incumbent.
The map is expected to be released this week, or soon after. The state legislature, controlled by Democrats, must approve a new map before it adjourns in mid-November.
The map was finished in August, but is facing legal challenges from minority groups and Democrats who said the map discriminated against blacks. The map put Democratic Reps. Gary Peters and Sander Levin into the same 9th district, but Peters decided he’d be better off challenging freshman Rep. Hansen Clarke (D).
In May the Republican-controlled state legislature overrode a veto of the redistricting map by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Democrats recently filed a lawsuit because they believe the districts were gerrymandered. The map left Rep. Russ Carnahan (D) in a tough position to either challenge Rep. Lacy Clay (D) or move into Rep. Todd Akin’s (R) 2nd district for a more difficult race.
New Jersey (-1)
The state’s redistricting commission is expected to meet from Dec. 19 to 21 in order to complete a new map by Christmas. Public hearings are being held.
Republicans control the process, now under way in the legislature. It is expected to be done by mid-January.
New York (-2)
A map has not yet been released because the process has been bogged down in court proceedings over how to count prisoners.
The redistricting map was finalized late last month, but the Ohio Supreme Court ruled this month that the new map is subject to a referendum, giving Democrats leverage to renegotiate the map that created 12 solidly GOP districts and only four Democratic ones. The map squeezed six members of Congress into three districts, setting up potential primaries between Republican Reps. Mike Turner and Steve Austria and Democratic Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur. Rep. Betty Sutton (D) will have a competitive race against freshman Rep. Jim Renacci (R).