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How Pierce County fares in Redistricting Commission’s proposed maps

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Sep. 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm with No Comments »
September 13, 2011 6:41 pm

Pierce County might end up with four members of Congress.

The four plans for redrawing Washington’s congressional and legislative districts were unveiled today, and the headline is that three of them create a congressional district where minorities outnumber whites. But many people will be most interested in what happens to their own districts, which everyone can now see on these maps that allow the public to comment.

As it stands now, Pierce County is split up between three members of Congress — Reps. Adam Smith, Norm Dicks and Dave Reichert.

One plan, by Gig Harbor Republican Tom Huff, would put Pierce County into just two districts, Smith’s and Reichert’s. Dicks would no longer represent Tacoma and Gig Harbor, picking up Olympia instead.

But the other three plans would split up the county into four districts.

Dicks, Smith and Reichert would keep pieces of Pierce. Differences between the plans:

  • The Democrats choose Pierce and Thurston counties as the center of the new 10th Congressional District that Washington is getting because of population growth. Olympia’s Dean Foster would stretch the new district from the coast and the Olympic Peninsula all the way to Puyallup and Fife. The 10th as designed by Seattle’s Tim Ceis is more compact and runs as far east as Pacific, Sumner and Puyallup. Unlike Foster’s plan, it includes Lakewood and University Place.
  • The Democrats would grab just enough of east Tacoma to leave Smith in a district that stretches up into Bellevue. Ceis would give Smith the proposed minority-majority district. His is the only plan that has a majority-minority district reaching into Pierce County.
  • Republican Slade Gorton‘s plan is quite different from the others because it locates the new 10th District in a rural swath of area along the northern border with Canada. His map mostly keeps the status quo in Pierce County but gives GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler a small piece around Eatonville.
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