Braman Representative Dale DeWitt, the Republican co-chair of the House Redistricting Committee, says the districts seeing the biggest changes when new lines are drawn will be those of members who cannot run for another term in 2012 because of term limits. Those members are:
District 23: Sue Tibbs
District 26: Kris Steele
District 70: Ron Peters
District 90: Charles Key
District 20: Paul Roan
District 60: Purcy Walker
DeWitt says the subcommittees which drew up maps for each Congressional district have also drawn lines for House districts, but now those five maps have to be “meshed together” to come up with the final map. When asked if the public will have a map to look at in a couple weeks, DeWitt replied that he thinks it will be sooner than that. Lawmakers have to have the new maps drawn by the end of next month.
DeWitt went on to say that population shifts in the state mean that rural districts will get bigger or extend to include the suburbs of the Oklahoma City or Tulsa Metro areas. He says rural lawmakers want to keep as many rural districts as possible.
Oklahoma Watchdog spoke with Rep. Danny Morgan of Prague, the Democratic co-chair of the Redistricting committee, before today’s meeting. He said he didn’t get everything he wanted in his district, but that he’s happy with what he got. He says it looks like his district will remain rural.
While no maps have been released to the public, there are rumors swirling about some of the effects of the new boundaries:
- Oklahoma Watchdog has heard from multiple sources that Dana Orwig, a Democrat who has run three times in House District 87 currently held by Republican Jason Nelson, would live in fellow Democrat Al McAffrey’s House District 88.
- Rep. Richard Morrissette’s House District 92 in South Oklahoma City would apparently see the biggest change with more than 20,000 of his 37,000 constituents being different with the new boundaries.