West Virginia lawmakers endorse redistricting maps


By John Raby - Associated Press



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia lawmakers endorsed proposed maps of congressional and state legislative districts during a special session on redistricting Monday, setting up a potential fight between two of the state’s current members of Congress.

West Virginia lost one of its three U.S. House seats after the 2020 Census and lawmakers are trying to redraw the state into two congressional districts. In the proposed map, Rep. David McKinley and Rep. Alex Mooney would be in the same district. All three current U.S. House members from West Virginia are Republicans.

The state Senate redistricting committee forwarded its versions of congressional and state Senate maps on Monday. Earlier in the day, a map that reconfigures all 100 House of Delegates seats into separate, single-member districts was endorsed by a House committee. The maps now go before the committees’ respective full chambers.

The congressional redistricting map endorsed by the House committee would split the state roughly into north and south sections. The First District would include both panhandles and much of the northern part of the state along with Wood County on the western edge. The Second District would include the southern coalfields, the Greenbrier Valley and extend north into Ritchie County.

The proposed map deviates from the ideal population of 896,858 in each new district by about 1,500 people, placing more residents in the southern district.

The Senate committee also endorsed a redistricting map of the 17-district Senate that takes population changes into account. It now goes before the full chamber.

Marion County Democrat Mike Caputo objected to the Senate map, which would place his northern county entirely in a district with four other counties and remove its current configuration with Monongalia County.

The House of Delegates single-member districts were mandated in a 2018 bill that passed the Legislature. Currently, there are 67 districts and more than half of the House is elected from multiple-member districts.

More than a dozen public hearings were held across the state over the past few months to discuss the redistricting process. Another public hearing is set for Wednesday in the House chamber.

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Online:

Senate redistricting maps: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Districts/2020/senatemaps.cfm.

House redistricting maps: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Districts/2020/housemaps.cfm.

By John Raby

Associated Press