Proposed GOP Congressional Redistricting Map Dead on Arrival?
New Hampshire House Republicans will propose a new redistricting map Tuesday that would put much of the Seacoast in the Second Congressional district. It's also a plan that neither Republicans nor Democrats like.
The plan proposed by state Rep. Ross Berry called the I-93 Corridor Map creates a new first Congressional District that runs along Route 93 and includes western Rockingham County, the eastern half of Hillsborough County, and all of Belknap and Merrimack counties.
Eastern Rockingham County, including the immediate coastal area and all of Strafford County, would be part of the second Congressional district that would include the rest of the state's counties.
"The map puts both Democratic incumbents in the same congressional district! That's the essence of partisan Gerrymandering," SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes told Seacoast Current.
If the map were adopted, First Congressional District candidates Julian Acciard, state Rep. Tim Baxter, Gail Huff Brown and Karoline Leavitt would find themselves living outside the district.
Berry said the redistricting meets several goals including balancing the population of each district, no splitting of any city or town, and keeping most counties intact.
According to Berry, each district would have a population of 688,000.
"This map does not divide any economic communities that are not already divided by county lines. The current map only keeps the Seacoast intact to the detriment to the rest of the state," Berry wrote.
From a competitive point of view, the map reduces the Republican advantage of the previously proposed redistricting map, according to Berry.
"In 2020, the election for District 1 would have been decided by roughy 300 vote. The outcome would have been 50.05% for the winner. This puts District 1 in play for both parties," Berry wrote.
Sununu, Buckley in Agreement
The map appears to be the rare time when Gov. Chris Sununu and state Democratic Party chair Raymond Buckle are in agreement.
Sununu issued a statement on Monday afternoon shortly after the release of the proposed map, saying that he will not sign off on it.
"The people of New Hampshire are counting on the House Special Committee on Redistricting to deliver a map that holds our incumbents accountable and keeps our districts competitive. We are still not there."
Buckley was not impressed by the map, and tweeted a sarcastic reaction.
"1. Move to NH to work for NHGOP, get fired 2. Work for a string of losing candidates 3. Win a race for 400 mbr House. 4. Focus on rigging elections, gerrymandering districts & playing political games," Buckley tweeted. "Voters expect their legislators to focus on their needs not games."
Buckley's tweet included a GIF captioned "I never really take anything seriously."