Fun With Redistricting Speculation – Updated with Map

At this stage prior to any reapportionment special session, there begins to be quite a lot of “informed speculation”, with much of it never coming close to materializing in the real world. The exercise, however, prevents idle hands during the lazy days of summer, and hopefully keeps enterprising consultants, lobbyists, and other assorted oberservers and hacks from causing any real trouble elsewhere.

While is it a virtually accepted fact that the soon to be birthed 14th district will contain a Hall County base – with both Martha Zoller and Rep. Doug Collins retaining consultants and interviewing staff – there are 13 incumbent districts with which we can make stuff up ponder the implications of soon to be redrawn maps.

Jim Galloway tackled one rumor earlier today, one which I also heard for the first time over the weekend: That DuBose Porter may be interested in challenging Rep. Austin Scott. I do write for DuBose and Carol Porter’s newspapers, but frankly haven’t asked him about it. Let’s just say I would be surprised if he wanted to challenge Austin, and leave my opinion/speculation at that.

But Jim does add a wrinkle that I would say is quite possible if not probable. That there will be a tradeoff between Democratic pricincts and Republican ones between Scott and Rep. Sanford Bishop.

Porter said, no, he’s not running. What’s more, he thinks Macon may not be part of Scott’s 8th District come 2012. Porter says he’s hearing a great deal of talk that the Republican-controlled Legislature next month could hand Macon and its mid-state Democratic environs (Fort Valley, etc.) over to U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop and the 2nd District.

In return, the heavily Republican city of Thomasville near the Florida voter – which is now in Bishop’s district – would be shifted over to Scott. Both congressmen would benefit from the deal.

Now I’ll add my own speculation to the above, and you of course I hope will feel free to add yours as well. Bishop needs a few extra Democrats in his district, but Scott isn’t exactly in need of the additional Republicans. Despite his district previously being held by Democrat Jim Marshall, it’s quite Republican Red already.

Thus, what Republicans Scott may gain from Bishop on the southern flank of his district, he may offer to John Barrow as a gift from the eastern side of his district. Perhaps even the part that contains one Porter family from Laurens county.

Updated: After posting the above, I got an email about 20 minutes later with from a friend who just happened to have a map similar to what is described above. Make of it what you will.


  1. Baker says:

    I know this happens every time, and both parties do it, but do we have to just sit idly by and let these politicians draw lines to ensure their re-election time after time. All that will be accomplished is increased polarization and more career politicians who are barely held accountable because they know they can’t lose.

  2. Debra says:

    Screw Bishop and put that blah blah blah out of office. I could care less about the color of his skin….. he needs to hit the road!

  3. drjay says:

    i know it’s considerably less glamorous, but has anyone looked at, talked about, the new lines these guys have to draw for themselves–esp. with population shifts, and all the newly hatched gop’s that switched parties last year, and the state of some of the marginal metro districts that are not as gop as they used to be?

    • Charlie says:

      I’ll squeak a word in before Huttman V. Rountree (round infinity) starts. They’ll have pesky things like facts to argue with. I, like Michele Bachmann, prefer to be unburdened by those when I argue.

      I think some of the worry from the Democratic base creeping into the near suburbs was relieved a bit when the City of Atlanta’s population came in about 100K people short. Thus, there are a few inner city districts where Dems may be consolidated, making room for one or two Dem districts to creep further beyond I-285.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        “They’ll have pesky things like facts to argue with. I, like Michele Bachmann, prefer to be unburdened by those when I argue.”

        A pair of sentences reminiscent of Twain.

        • bgsmallz says:

          Its fascinating to see the 5th actually popping into Cobb and the 4th and the 5th being pushed south in N. DeKalb to make room for a more geographically consolidated 6th.

          Also, if the 4th gets expanded into Newton Co., let’s bring back Ben Jones and put Cooter back in Congress! (At least get rid of Hank Johnson) Plus, it will be fun to see how C. McKinney’s crazy plays in Covington.

  4. Toxic Avenger says:

    The only thing I’ll say to this is that it’s completely impossible for DuBose to be drawn into a district with Sanford Bishop. Scott could shed the Porter family, to be sure, but it’s not going to a district out west.

  5. TheEiger says:

    I think that this map is probably really close to what will pass. The South Georgia districts are real close. As far as North Georgia goes, I don’t see Gingrey wanting to get rid of Rome. So that may shift the 9th farther into Cherokee County. The way that this 14th district butchers Broun’s district. I don’t see him being excited about taking the majority of his tea party base away to give to someone else, but honestly this looks like the only way to go after Barrow.

    • TheEiger says:

      Actually, after looking closer. They wont put Kingston and Barrow in the same district as this map has them. The shift would be in the other direction. The 10th would pick up all of Columbia and Richmond counties, taking away some of Barrow’s base and parts of Chatham and Effingham would stay in the 12th.

      • drjay says:

        almost everything i have heard about this has chatham put back completely in the 1st, with the idea of making barrow “homeless” again and cutting those dem votes out of the 12th, have you heard some different ideas on that?

        • TheEiger says:

          The members have a large part in shaping their districts. Why would Kingston want to be put in a district with a sitting member of congress that he knows would be some what of a real race? That just doesn’t make since. Could happen I guess.

          • drjay says:

            because it would not be a race–even with all of chatham, kingston would still get 60+% of the vote in the 1st, kingston has had all of chatham in the past, barrow has never had bryan, liberty, camden, glynn, mcintosh, appling, brantley, etc….unless i misunderstood what was being said, at the most recent 12th district meeting, it sounded like moving chatham back into the 1st was pretty much a done deal–but i do realize nothing is yet set in stone…

  6. Howard Roark says:

    I don’t believe CD 7 will be put exclusively into Gwinnett county. The western part of the county is trending democrat. It could switch to a predominately democrat county in the next 10 years.

    I also am not sure that the new CD 10 has enough population. CD 14 looks just like I thought it would. Will Chip Rogers run?

    • saltycracker says:

      Rogers would do well in the proposed CD14 & lives in the Cherokee corner.
      Busting Cherokee in half – West/East is strange.

      • sunkawakan says:

        I’m still hearing rumblings that Rogers will run, even though Galloway claims Chip says he won’t as yet. The 14th bypassing Canton is pretty interesting. This area tends toward a larger Democratic voter base (at least for Cherokee) than most others.

  7. jeff says:

    So the state republicans are going to sacrifice the people of Southwest Georgia. What kind of deal has Sanford Bishop struck with the republicans for them to not only add Macon to his district but to also draw Mike Keown OUT of his district? This is exactly what the people of Southwest Georgia asked the republicans not to do.

  8. swga resident says:

    Keown is running to fill the unexpired term of his county commisioner who recently died in office. The term ends in Dec. 2012. Keown has been watching the redistricting to see what will happen. I know from the redistricting hearings that many SW GA residents are hoping to have a true rural SW GA district with a fighting chance of having a conservative congressman. If the lines are drawn as you say – adding Bibb County and taking out Thomas County – you assure a gerrymandered district for Bishop – not only adding more minorities but actually drawing Keown out of the district – the candidate who almost put Bishop out of office in 2010. There are still many, many questions in District 2 about those Columbus votes that came in at 1:30 a.m. giving Bishop just enough to defeat Keown. It is sad to see District 2 used as a bargaining chip in the process – it is sad to see our district sold down the river to make a deal with Bishop.

    • rense says:

      “I know from the redistricting hearings that many SW GA residents are hoping to have a true rural SW GA district with a fighting chance of having a conservative congressman.”

      Oh please. Enough with this nonsense, ok? Before Sanford Bishop, Georgia elected Charles Hatcher, Dawson Mathis, J.L. Pilcher and a string of other liberal big government (i.e. pro New Deal) Democrats who almost always won with no Republican opposition. So, now getting a conservative is this big priority?

      Well, hey, if you south Georgia folks wanted a conservative Republican so badly, why didn’t you all lift a finger to support Dylan Glenn those times that he ran against Bishop? That was back before Bishop got nearly so entrenched. Had you good south Georgia conservatives gotten behind him back then the way that you got behind Keown in 2010, Glenn would have won, held the seat and almost certainly been a major player on the national scene by now. But it appears that the folks in Georgia’s 2nd district were no more interested in being represented by Glenn in the 1990s than were the folks in Georgia’s 3rd were interested in being represented by him in 2004. Well that’s not fair … at least the 3rd district folks had an excuse … Glynn didn’t live in the district. What was yours?

      If you want Keown in Congress so badly, then support him in the primary of whatever district he winds up in. And no, keeping Bishop in the seat that he has held for 20 years, isn’t “sad.” What is “sad” is the attempts to disenfranchise all the Democrats in that district by trying to find some formula that would allow Keown to claim it by “50% plus one” of the vote, even if it means stuffing one of the heavily Democratic regions currently in district 2 into some other GOP district so those voters will get some GOP congressman who won’t lift a finger to represent them any more than Keown will. (Not bashing Keown, but let’s face it: Keown would only represent the folks who voted for him, as well as the interests of the state and national party, and not the vast number of Democrats that would still be in that district under ANY gerrymandering scheme.) And what else was “sad” was Glenn only getting like 30% of the vote when he ran against Bishop thanks to the very same people who now so badly wanting or needing a conservative GOPer in the 2nd district either staying at home or refusing to vote in the race at all!

      This is reality. Despite the folks who wish to delude themselves into believing that Georgia is now a single party state, the truth is that even Roy Barnes was able to get 43% of the vote in a historic GOP landslide year. Georgia has a SIGNIFICANT Democratic voter population, and there is NO WAY to deny that population representation in Congress. (Or at least no LEGAL way.) In light of that, allowing a 20 year incumbent that is relatively noncontroversial, no threat to advance in either the state or national party, and plays no real role in crafting legislation is the best deal that you are going to get. Georgia GOPers should be thrilled to have 3 of its Democratic Congressmen fit that profile (John Lewis, Hank Johnson and Sanford Bishop) and dedicate all their energy to finding out a way to knock off the 4th (Barrow) without provoking a lawsuit from the Obama/Holder Justice Department (which is what taking tens of thousands of black voters from Bishop’s district and adding them to some heavily GOP district would certainly do, and rightfully so).

      But if you swGA “conservatives” had backed Dylan Glenn back before Bishop was one of the senior members in the Georgia legislation, you wouldn’t have this problem. He’d most likely still be your congressman, and leaving the 2nd district alone to go after Barrow’s district would be a no-brainer.

  9. keith says:

    This is exactly how the districts should look according to this map. Take this map to the joint house & senate committess ASAP! The only thing about it is would the GOP seriously remove Laurens out of the 8th & put it into the 12th? I remember back in either ’96 or 98 Charlie Norwood represented Laurens when was representing the 10th district.

  10. keith says:

    Now I heard rumors that Bishop’s people wanted Thomas & Grady Counties out of the 2nd & all of Bibb & Muscogee Counties, as well as Upson County. But this map is the closest thing I’d say to the actual redistricting map we’ll probably see. I don’t see Baldwin County being removed out of the 12th & I don’t see Dooly & Crisp County moving into the 8th neither! The 8th should be South Central-based district instead of a district that snakes around Bibb County & shoots north towards the Outer Metro Atlanta Area.

  11. rense says:

    Both maps split far too many counties for my taste. I also don’t like how both maps egregiously wrap District 13 around District 5. (If the District 13/District 5 thing is a legacy from Roy Barnes’ gerrymandering shenanigans, why hold on to it?) I like how the second map makes sense for south Georgia, but not the metro area … why does district 4, Hank Johnson’s district, snake into Gwinnett County, and for that matter Newton County? The 6th district is just parts and pieces of counties (Cobb, Fulton, DeKalb, Forsyth) … unless you make the case that it is basically Roswell’s district, what kind of representation based on common interests will the folks in that district (who will all see the majority of their counties in other districts) get?

    The thing is that we have no idea what the population patterns will be in 2017, especially if we are on the cusp of a huge economic realignment (for better or for worse). That is why it is better to go by existing county or geographic boundaries wherever possible.

  12. slyram says:

    As a Worth County person, I wrote on my blog earlier this week that Tift and Worth should be split but this map likely what is going to happen. Regarding Keown, we should remember that Kingston might exit Congress in the future and that Keown’s area being in the 1st could make him a conservative in a conservative district.

    Talk about your tale of two cities; the area north of HWY 82 in Tift and Worth would like being in the 8th while the area south of the highway wants to be in the 2nd. I don’t have a problem being in a rural based 8th district because a moderate voter like me would hate being in most other southern GOP district. Austin is about budget and fiscal matters and that is fine. Charlie is right; the Porters are the last rural hope for the Democratic Party in Georgia and maybe the south.

    Rense, Rense, Rense: you are so right about selecting the right candidate. Dylan Glenn is a good guy but Black folks weren’t going to support him over Bishop—he is a prep school type who hadn’t lived in rural Georgia in years. Now, before Austin jumped in against Jim Marshall, I wanted Dr. Deborah Honeycutt to run against Marshall and she would have beaten the brakes off him because the Honeycutts are likeable Black professionals. (Jim Marshall would have switched to the GOP and the Speaker would have made him a sub-committee chair on Armed Services.)
    I got a chance to briefly kick it with Michael Steele at Austin Scott’s and Ray McKinney’s event and if Steele selected candidates like brother Scott from S.C. and Honeycutt, the GOP could have made some real progress in the Black Committee. Hell, it’s not rocket science…start with Black favorite sons from college sports who will get Black support and add the GOP base. Game over. i.e. conservative Charlie Ward Jr. from Thomasville.

    • drjay says:

      charlie ward is intriguing, didn’t know his poitics, or if he is intersted in public service…as far as the 1st, whenever kinston decides to move on, that race is going to look something like the race to replace deal in congress looked last year, i can think of almost 20 folks off the top of my head that might give that one a go…the last time that seat was open, it was still a dem seat and their primary had mayors, son’s of former congressmen, retired military officers, school board members, state reps and then some running…

  13. Jane says:

    Broun will not wan to lose GMC in Augusta. It would be easier for him to take in all of Richmond from the 12th.
    Bishop should trade the White GOP counties like Lee and Worth along with Thomas and Grady to CD 8. He could snake around and take in Baldwin.
    North Fayette County is trending Black and Democrat, it could be split into the 13th. In 10 years all of Douglas, Henry and Newton will be Black Democrat if the trends continue.
    If CD 7 does not take in rural Republican county like Barrow it could be in trouble for the Republicans. Lilburn, Snellville and Lawrenceville are increasing their minority population quickly. CD 4 should take in much more of Gwinnett, especially in the corner bordering Rockdale.
    I also do not think the Galloway map is optimized with equal populations among the districts. The 7th looks far to large in population for example.

  14. Jane says:

    Georgia Medical College. Broun wants to represent the interests of people who are in his profession. It is not about carrying Richmond. He does not carry Clarke either, but he worked as a Doctor at the Hospital in Athens.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      Are you kidding me. Broun as done little to nothing for any of the Universities he went to or is/was associated with including uga and the medical college of georgia. The professors and officals at both those school could care less about what area Broun represents b/c they go to our senators and other congressman for grants anyway. All he cares about is pushing his own extreme ideology.

          • LOL… according to the socialist conservative wing of your party and a significant part of his constituents, it is.
            However, even though I disagree with my Rep on that issue, proposing laws that only affect gov employees and gov facilities, aren’t unconstitutional. Now if he tries to ban “literature” collections of private individuals in their private facilities (home or businesses)… then we’ll have to have a sit down/heart to heart on the subject.

  15. Jane says:

    KD_fiscal conservative, Why do you call yourself a conservative while defending grants?

    Dr. Bruon is a graduate of GMC, and he has a strong fundraising base coming from other Doctors inside and out of acedemia. While no Republican is likely to carry Richmond, Dr. Bruon could easily carry the Augusta region provided Columbia and McDuffie is included in the district.

    If Richmond and Columbia are combined in the 12th, you will see someone like Whitehead or Felming running again. Both were Chamber of Commerce types who got their heads handed to them by Bruon.

    • drjay says:

      broun’s fundraising base within the medical community would probably not be that impacted by losing his sliver of richmond county and mcg–and actually that sliver of richmond county with summerville and the hill going out washington road and walton way towards martinez is about 50/50 electorally broun won it in 10, after losing it to saxon in 08. mcg itself, however is pretty well in the hood, although i think ra dent is the road that divides the districts right there. i don’t like columbia in the 12th either, as it has alays been part of a n.e ga district as either 9 or 10 through the years–but even if it were there are lots of folks in the southern part of 12 that are well positioned to run out of effingham or bulloch, or even tommie williams if he were interested…

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      Why do you call yourself a conservative while defending grants?
      -B/c I know, and have seen first hand, the impact of gov’t money in research, development and inovation. And I have this crazy little idea that America should be leading in those fields, not the EU or China. Also, if you examine the budget the problem isn’t grants or even earmarks, it’s medicare/caid, and SS something many “conservatives” are afraid to even touch. Eliminating all research money will hurt American standing, and won’t even begin to solve the deficit issues.

      As far as funding from doctors from Broun, your right, but have a hard time believing many of them are academics.

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