Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Mayor Attacks Democratic Redistricting Plan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Mayor Attacks Democratic Redistricting Plan

Article excerpt

Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys on Tuesday lambasted a Democratic redistricting proposal that he said would divide Oklahoma City among three congressional districts and possibly dilute the city's political influence.

Speaking before the City Council at its regular weekly meeting, the mayor said the Oklahoma City electorate would not account for a majority in any of the three districts that would encompass the city.

"Oklahoma City gets a really poor shake on this deal the way it is coming out of the conference committee," Humphreys said. "This splits us three ways, and it puts us where Oklahoma City would be in a minority position in every district that we are in."

Oklahoma City had asked state legislators to consider a redistricting plan that would give the city two or three representatives, with at least one of those representatives principally representing the city population.

The mayor said the city wanted to have more than one representative in the House to maximize the city's influence and at least one of those districts primarily focused on the city.

"We do like to have multiple congressmen, but we want one congressman, who will have to depend on the voters of Oklahoma City to get re-elected," Ward 5 Councilman Jerry Foshee said. "It's extremely important that one congressman at least depends on Oklahoma City in order for him to get re-elected to make him accountable."

Oklahoma is losing one of its six congressional seats this year, because the state's population did not grow as fast as other states. State leaders have been working for more than a year to redraw the congressional district boundaries to reflect the five districts.

Under a redistricting plan that emerged from a House-Senate conference committee Monday, Oklahoma County would be split among three congressional districts. The districts would include the new Fifth District covering northwest Oklahoma, the Fourth District covering southwest Oklahoma, and the Third District, covering southeast Oklahoma. …

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