By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican leaders within the Oklahoma House and Senate launched new congressional district maps on Monday that present main modifications to the aggressive fifth Congressional District that Democrats narrowly gained in 2018.
The proposed new fifth Congressional District map carves out a big chunk of Oklahoma City’s closely Hispanic south facet and Democratic core and locations it within the strongly Republican third Congressional District that stretches throughout western Oklahoma. It additionally provides rural parts of Lincoln and Logan County to the new fifth District.
“Oklahoma City will proceed to have one majority congressional district with CD-5 and illustration in two others, because it has for many years,” mentioned Rep. Ryan Martinez, chairman of the House Redistricting Committee. “This is acceptable given the Oklahoma City metro space’s standing as Oklahoma’s fastest-growing space, the general public enter acquired from many metro space communities, and statewide navy base wants.”
Republicans gained again the fifth District in 2020 when then-state Sen. Stephanie Bice defeated Horn.
Martinez mentioned one of many priorities of the Redistricting Committee was to maintain Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill in Lawton within the 4th Congressional District at the moment represented by Republican Rep. Tom Cole.
But House Democratic Leader Rep. Emily Virgin mentioned the new maps, notably the proposed new fifth Congressional District, would not make sense except the committee’s aim was to maintain Democrats from successful again the seat.
“You have people on the south facet and within the core of Oklahoma City now sharing a congressional consultant with people within the Oklahoma Panhandle,” she mentioned. “That would not make any sense by any means except your aim is to ensure a Democrat would not get elected from Oklahoma.”
Andy Moore, the chief director of People Not Politicians, a bunch that attempted unsuccessfully to get a state query on the poll to present duty for drawing new maps to a bipartisan fee, mentioned a fast have a look at the new map suggests it was gerrymandered to assist Republicans.
“The congressional map is fairly clearly drawn to guard incumbent politicians,” Moore mentioned. “And it very clearly cuts up Oklahoma City.”
Moore mentioned minority voters at the moment make up 43% of the fifth District, which drops to 34% underneath the new district, one thing that would result in a authorized problem of the new maps.
But Martinez mentioned 87% of Oklahomans stay of their present congressional district and expressed confidence that the new maps will stand up to any authorized problem.
“There’s little question in my thoughts … that this may stand up to judicial scrutiny,” he mentioned.
The new 4th Congressional District seems just like the present district, whereas the first Congressional District in Tulsa turned extra compact by shedding Washington County and about half of Wagoner County, and including Sapulpa in Creek County.
The maps, together with new state House and Senate district maps, shall be thought of by the GOP-controlled Legislature throughout a particular session that is set to start Nov. 15.
This story was first revealed on Nov 1. It was up to date on Nov. 2 to delete an misguided declare that Altus Air Force Base can be within the 4th Congressional District underneath the proposed electoral maps. It can be within the third District.
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