State Watch

First new congressional map approved in Oregon after 2020 Census

The first new congressional maps following the 2020 Census were approved on Monday in Oregon, giving Democrats a significant majority for future elections.

The new maps create a 5-to-1 Democratic majority and divide Portland into three districts, the latter of which is a first for the state.

One of the Portland districts crosses the Cascades and connects to Bend.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed the redistricting bills Monday after they were approved by the state legislature.

She celebrated Oregon gaining a congressional seat for the first time in 40 years.

“For the first time in forty years, Oregon is gaining a congressional seat––another delegation member to advocate for the common good of all Oregonians,” Brown wrote in a statement.

“After the past year and a half, during which Oregonians have faced unprecedented challenges that have urgently required federal attention and resources, I am particularly grateful that the Legislature has come together to pass today’s historic legislation,” she added.

Republicans, however, are not pleased by the new maps and are contending that leaders gerrymandered the state.

House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) told The Hill in an interview last week, “Clearly they’re determined to adopt a gerrymandered congressional map for the state of Oregon.”

“These maps clearly absolutely are incumbency protection maps that are intended to benefit the Democrat Party. There’s no getting around it,” she added.

Drazan said Democrats have been “nothing but hypocrites on this issue.”

“They’ve spent the last couple of years calling on my party to just be better. And they’re being complete hypocrites right now. Either gerrymandering is cheating or it’s not, and Democrats across the nation say it’s cheating. But what they should be saying is gerrymandering is cheating, unless we do it,” she added.

With the new maps, Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio’s (Ore.) seat will likely be less competitive in future elections. Additionally, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) will hold onto their blue districts.

The Census Bureau released data from the once-in-a-decade count in August, which showed that the U.S. is diversifying at the fastest rate in the nation’s history. It did, however, find that population growth has slowed to the most sluggish pace since the country’s founding.

Reid Wilson contributed.

Tags Earl Blumenauer Gerrymandering Kate Brown Oregon Peter DeFazio Redistricting Suzanne Bonamici
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