Washington Congressional and Legislative Maps Finalized
January 3, 2012
January 3, 2012
Washington’s Redistricting Commission unanimously approved a new political map late Sunday evening, a few hours before their midnight deadline.
Population growth of about 1 million since 2001 was enough to give Washington, now the 13th-most populous state, an additional U.S. House seat. This new seat, combined with the congressional seat being vacated by Jay Inslee as he runs for governor, gives the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) a unique opportunity for early involvement helping elect credit union supporters to Congress.
“We are excited that there are credit union supporters running in both of the open seat races this year,” said Mark Minickiello, vice president of legislative affairs for the NWCUA. “Our PAC committee will be meeting this week to choose which candidates we would like to support now that the district lines have been set.”
Approval of the maps ends a long redistricting process that began last May with a series of 18 public hearings around the state. Unlike other states, where the legislature does battle to improve the lot of the majority party, Washington turned the job over to a commission in 1983—and the rules require three of the four partisan commissioners to agree on a final product.
Changes in Congressional Districts
In a historic move, the Redistricting Commission agreed to push Democratic Rep. Adam Smith’s 9th District further north into southeast Seattle and Bellevue, making it the state’s first congressional district where a majority of residents are people of color. The redrawn 9th loses Lacey and territory alongside the military base near Tacoma and moves north to include Tukwila, Renton, Newcastle, Mercer Island and Bellevue.
Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks’ 6th District holds onto urban Tacoma and includes the rural Olympic Peninsula. The 6th also gains the Bangor naval base.
Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s 3rd District becomes more Republican, as it slides out of Democrat-dominated Olympia and into Eastern Washington along the Columbia River.
Republican Rep. Dave Reichert’s 8th District, which has been centered in the Bellevue suburbs, moves further into the Cascade foothills and reaches over into Eastern Washington to include Kittitas County and Chelan for the first time.
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) is leaving the 1st District to run for governor, and his district is now reconfigured as a swing district—slightly favoring Democrats—ranging from east of Everett and running over suburban and rural areas to the Canadian border.
Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen’s 2nd District becomes an urban and coastal district stretching from Everett to the San Juans. The new 10th District then includes most of Thurston County and spans north to Puyallup and Sumner. Thurston County had previously been split into two districts.
Changes in Legislative Districts
The 15th Legislative District in east Yakima County becomes the state’s first majority Latino district, reflecting the changing demographics of Central Washington. The new 15th encompasses east Yakima County, including urbanized east Yakima and stretching east toward the Benton County line. It includes the towns of Sunnyside and Grandview.
Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt of Kalama is moved from the 18th District into the 20th, setting off a chain reaction that dislodges other incumbents.
Thurston County Rep. Gary Alexander lives on the outskirts of Lacey, and the Republican is now pushed out of the 20th and into the 2nd, where incumbent Republican Rep. Jim McCune of Graham has been shuffled into the 28th, which has two Democratic House members.
In another resulting change, Democratic Sen. Margarita Prentice of Renton is moved from the 11th District into the 37th, where Sen. Adam Kline (D-Seattle) is the incumbent.
The new maps can be viewed by visiting the Washington Redistricting Commission’s website.
Questions? Contact Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the NWCUA.
Posted in Advocacy News.