Parties unveil maps

redistrict: Now they’ll bargain over the details

JORDAN SCHRADER; Staff writerOctober 15, 2011 

Republicans and Democrats took their latest negotiating postures Friday in the process of redrawing districts for the state Legislature.

The bipartisan Redistricting Commission unveiled two maps, one for each party, a step in the process of setting state political lines that the commission hopes to finish by mid-November. They have until Jan. 1.

Previously, each of the commission’s four members had produced a legislative map, along with a map for proposed Congressional districts. They haven’t winnowed down their Congressional maps, and aren’t sure when they will.

The new maps make it easier for commissioners to bargain over the details of the 49 legislative districts. Among the differences between the parties:

 • GOP Rep. Jim McCune of Graham appears likely to stay put in his district, the 2nd, but Democrats’ map would subject him to an intraparty fight with Thurston County Rep. Gary Alexander, whose home would be bumped out of the 20th.

 • Both Alexander and another Republican from his district, Sen. Dan Swecker, could be bumped. Depending on the map, their Lewis and south Thurston county district could extend all the way to Pacific County on the coast or dip down into Cowlitz County.

 • Tumwater would be wholly inside the 22nd District with Olympia and most of Lacey in Republicans’ plan. All three cities would be intact in the 22nd in Democrats’ plan.

 • Democrats would make the suburban 28th District much more urban, taking in a bigger swath of Tacoma up to Point Defiance. Republicans would go in the opposite direction, taking in more of rural Pierce County including Roy, and would force Democratic Rep. Troy Kelley to run in a new district or move.

 • DuPont would move into the rural 2nd District under the changes Democrats make in the 28th.

 • Republicans would move Sen. Tracey Eide’s home into the 33rd by putting Des Moines wholly within that district – potentially matching up Eide against fellow Democrat Karen Keiser. On the other map, Democrats put freshman Republican Sen. Joe Fain into Keiser’s territory.

 • In Eastern Washington, Democrats would force Sen. Mark Schoesler to challenge Republican majority leader, Mike Hewitt.

Jordan Schrader: 360-786-1826

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