Georgia will pick up an additional Congressional seat according to this article in today’s AJC. The political implication of this are already being contemplated.
If a 14th congressional seat is added in northern metro Atlanta, it could be an opportunity for Democrats to balance Georgia’s U.S. House representation at seven Democrats and seven Republicans.
“Depending on how the maps are drawn, it’s a seat Democrats can compete for,” said Matt Weyandt, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “So it’s very important to the party that the redistricting process is done fairly and that there’s no funny business.”
Redistricting also would give the state a 16th electoral vote — something that would increase Georgia’s importance in 2012 presidential election and beyond.
The political party that doesn’t get what it wants through this round of redistricting may have to wait until after the next census in 2020 to try and change the state’s political landscape, said University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock.
Since it’s initially up to the party that controls the state legislature to determine how a new congressional district is drawn, Republicans will be able to design the district to include as many predominantly Republican voting precincts as they can, Bullock said.
Republicans are already counting on the seat.
“The Georgia Republican Party looks forward to adding more Republican members to the Georgia congressional delegation,” Sue Everhart, chairman of the Georgia GOP, said in a statement.
For Democrats, redistricting makes the governor’s race all the more important, since a Democratic governor could veto any redistricting plan the Republican legislature is expected to submit in 2011.
So if Roy Barnes is indeed the Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee, will Matt Weyandt call on Barnes to repent of his gerrymandering past?