That’s right folks. DeKalb, since it has grown slower than its exurban counterparts to the north will more than likely lose two of its state representatives to some far flung semi-rural backwater in the north Georgia mountains. That from the lips of district 90 representative Howard Mosby who was in attendance at the redistricting meeting held by Kathie Gannon in Gresham Park this week. Though he did not call it a rural backwater, Mosby’s speculation sort of mirrors what I posted last week about congressional redistricting in DeKalb. Power in the state house and Congress is leapfrogging the southern parts of the metro in favor of the far northern counties. From a political standpoint it means a smaller voice in the legislature. From an economic standpoint, it could mean fewer dollars for things like roads and transit. No details came forward as to which representatives would lose their seat, but Mosby did say that during redistricting, recently voted in members have an advantage. But that’s not all. Our school districts will go from nine to seven thanks to recently passed legislation. That means two members could be drawn out or forced to run against another incumbent. Again those recently elected have an advantage over those who have not faced a re-election since 2010. Those of you who wanted Cunningham or Copelin-Woods gone may have to wait for another election cycle. And finally, our esteemed board of commissioners will have their districts redrawn. District 5, Lee Mays dominion, is the largest district by size and population, so it will have to be cut down to help districts three and four become more balanced in terms of population. No one will be drawn out of the commission districts, though several are up for re-election.
As I was writing the above, the AJC posted what could be the first version of new congressional districts in Georgia. From what I can tell, DeKalb county will have three reps instead of four. It looks like David Scott in the 13th had the few thousand people in extreme South DeKalb taken away and put into John Lewis’ 5th district. As I was told by a politician recently, the 4th did slide further east taking in all of Rockdale, and some of Newton. From this map I cannot tell for sure if the 6th dipped further down into DeKalb, but it does look as though most of north DeKalb and North Atlanta are now in the 6th district. If this map holds, it looks like all three Democrats in Atlanta Metro are safe. I do wonder though if stretching the 4th all the way to Newton wouldn’t make the 4th a little more conservative, and give Hank Johnson a challenge for his seat. Of the three metro area Democrats, Hanks seat may be the least safe. Here is a copy of the map.
I chatted with a local politician recently, and we covered a mryiad of topics including redistricting that will add a 14th congressional seat for Georgia. The seat is going to go to an exurban county on the outer fringes of the northern metro was his evaluation. With that additional seat comes a redrawing of all congressional district lines in georgia. Since Repiublicans control al three branches of Goverment in Georgia, it is a foregone conclusion that the seat will be drawn in such a fashion that a Republican will win the seat with ease. As for the other districts, compromise and legal precedent will shape how those districts are drawn. From what I am told, the fourth district represented by Hank Johnson will be extended futher east taking in the rest of Rockdale county and parts of Newton county. If the 4th is moved further east, then you may see the fifth moving further east as well. I can remember when the 5th was generally the city of Atlanta. it has since expanded to areas of DeKalb that border the city. In the new alignment, the 5th would suck up what is much of DeKalb inside the perimeter and and South of interstate 85 on the northside. The 5th would become an inside the perimeter district with a few exceptions. I was also told that the fith could extend down into Clayton County to take in parts of riverdale wich is now part of the 13th district represented by David Scott. If that happens, then the 13th would be cut off from the rest of the district in the western part of the metro. That could mean that David Scotts district could be the sacrificial lamb in the redistricting talks. The sixth district in north DeKalb could extend further south down to I-85 inside of 285. If all of this holds true, then DeKalb will continue to be represented by four different congressmen, more than any jurisdiction in the state. Want more info on redistricting, go here to see meeting schedules and times