Massachusetts will lose one of its 10 seats in U.S. House, setting the stages for a potentially contentious redistricting debate.
The announcement came Tuesday, as the Census Bureau released state population totals that dictate how the nation reapportions all 435 House districts to the states.
A decade ago, Massachusetts narrowly hung onto all 10 of its House seats after losing a seat in 1990.
With the figures now public, the political fight over who will be the odd man out when a congressional district is eliminated begins at the State House. It will be up to the Democratically-controlled state Legislature to redraw the lines, which will force two incumbent House members into the same district. The new congressional map must be completed in time for the 2012 elections.
So far, none of the incumbents have indicated any intention to retire. Lawmakers are likely eager to hear if anyone in the House delegation plans on running against Sen. Scott Brown next year. Reps Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch are often mentioned as possible candidates, and if one does challenge Brown, it could possibly take some of the political pressure off.
This program aired on December 21, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.