Live Blog: New Mass. Congressional Map Released
The News: Massachusetts legislators have redrawn the state's congressional map with nine districts, overhauling the previous map by putting two incumbents in the same district, introducing a new district, and creating the state's first "majority-minority" district. (Read the full story here.)
The live blog begins below. Newest updates on top. Refresh for the latest.
Update at 5:56 p.m.:
A few details indicate how sweeping some of the map changes are. To wit, State House News reports:
According to [Rep. Mike] Moran, 64 percent of the Worcester-based seat - currently known as the 3rd Congressional district - would be comprised of new communities, while the 47 percent of Neal’s 2nd Congressional district would be new cities and towns.
To compare, here's the existing map.
Update at 5:54 p.m.:
Rep. Michael Moran, the redistricting co-chair, said this to the Globe about the map:
“We’ve drawn up what we believe ... is an accurate reflection of where the people of the Commonwealth are,” Moran said....
“This is clearly not drawn for incumbents,’’ he said. “If it was, it would look a little different.”
Update at 5:40 p.m.:
Some congressional reaction has trickled in over the past couple of hours. Rep. Stephen Lynch:
... While we understood that each district would have to change, I am pleased to see that almost 80 percent of the Ninth Congressional District has remained intact. As for the newer areas, a big part of my family moved to Quincy and to Weymouth many years ago so I have a deep respect for those communities and it would be an honor for me to represent them. Of course, in the end it is the voters who decide who will represent them — not the other way around.
An excerpt of Rep. Niki Tsongas' statement:
... Throughout this process, I advocated for the Fifth Congressional District to be preserved to the greatest extent possible given its shared history, communities of interest, and geography. The map released today maintains the core of this District and ensures that these cities and towns will remain a cohesive and integral part of the District. ...
Update at 3:20 p.m.:
Ben Storrow, of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, talks to state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, who co-chaired the Legislature's Redistricting Committee: "I can't believe there is a single happy member of the delegation," Rosenberg tells Storrow. "We needed balance and fairness.... 40 years of gerrymandering had produced some stringy districts."
Update at 3:10 p.m.:
The Cambridge Chronicle notes that the city is now split between the districts currently held by Reps. Ed Markey and Michael Capuano.
Update at 2:40 p.m.:
- Universal Hub zooms in on the new map's effect in Boston: "It's a bit hard to tell from the online maps, but it looks like Washington Street becomes the border between Capuano and Lynch once past Egleston," he says.
- The MetroWest Daily News' David Riley has a good rundown of towns that switch districts, including "new areas [Frank picks up] to the west and north" of his current district.
Update at 2:10 p.m.:
Some early notes, now that the map's been released:
- As reported earlier, Reps. Stephen Lynch and William Keating have been placed in the same district.
- The district represented by Somerville Rep. Michael Capuano becomes a minority-majority district. The Globe's Noah Bierman tweets that Capuano's district "adds more minorities in Milton and Randolph."
- The district represented by Rep. Barney Frank has lost New Bedford and parts of Fall River to the new Cape, Islands and Plymouth district.
- Rep. Niki Tsongas' district (currently the 5th) maintains the Democratic stronghold of Lawrence, and also picks up a few towns west.
- The district currently held by Rep. James McGovern now includes the Democratic strongholds of Amherst and Northampton, The Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein notes.
Update at 1:29 p.m.: The map is live. Click this map to go to the state's site, where you can zoom in on individual municipalities.
Update at 1:15 p.m.:
WCVB-TV's Janet Wu is one of the first to get a look at the proposed map. She reports there will indeed be a match-up between incumbents — Reps. Stephen Lynch, of South Boston, and William Keating, of Quincy.
But, she says, "There is an easy political out for Keating." Keating could move his primary residence to his Cape Cod summer home and run in the newly proposed 9th Congressional District, which would include the Cape, the Islands and Plymouth.
Original post at 1 p.m.
In just about an hour, sources say, Massachusetts legislators will release online the state's redrawn map of congressional districts. To bring you up to speed:
- Late last year, Massachusetts learned it would lose one of its 10 congressional seats, after U.S. Census figures showed that the state's population failed to match the growth of other states.
- In October, after previously stating that he would seek re-election, Rep. John Olver, of Amherst, announced he would retire at the end of his term. Olver's decision means nine incumbents for nine districts, and it was thought his retirement could make it easier to avoid a match-up between representatives.
This program aired on November 7, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.