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Redistricting Q&A: Lynn Westmoreland Redistricting Q&A: Lynn Westmoreland Redistricting Q&A: Lynn Westmoreland Redistricting Q&A: Lynn W...

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Redistricting Q&A: Lynn Westmoreland

December 21, 2010

LW: Right, so it doesn't get challenged. It doesn't have to go through a very lengthy, expensive court process. And part of my job is going to be explaining to these new members that they don't draw their own maps. And so we're going to have to do a little bit of education with these new members coming in.

In addition, we do have some members who are coming out of some these state legislators who know the Speaker of the state House and the president of the state Senate and possibly have worked with the governor in one of the legislative bodies. And so we want to use their connections or relationships to help us with the process and explain to some of the other members in their delegation.

The Hotline: What states are particularly well prepared?

LW: Pennsylvania is really kind of a model of what these states need to be. They've had meeting after meeting with Pennsylvania delegation up here. So I think it's a pretty good relationship with all of them.

The Hotline: When you mention meetings with the delegation, do you mean that representatives from the state legislature are meeting with the Republican congressional caucus.

LW: Well, each delegation does their own thing. The Texas guys have met with some of their people that are going to be doing reapportionment. So has Pennsylvania. We've meet with some of our guys from Georgia. We're trying to encourage the delegations to do that, to sit down.

The Hotline: Let me ask you about Georgia, which is slated to gain one seat. Are Republicans already maxed out in Georgia? Or is there room for another Republican seat?

LW: You just have to look at the population of Georgia. The population has moved from the South to the metro aresa. And so, the 2nd, 1st and 8th Districts are probably going to become bigger districts geographically. And then those districts in and around the metro-region are probably going to shrink. The new district will probably be in the Republican territory, just because of the population shift.

The Hotline: Where exactly would it go?

LW: Well if you look at the 7th District, that's now represented by John Linder (R) and will be represented by Rob Woodall (R), it's got about 250,000 more people than it needs. And then if you look at the 6th District which is Tom Price's (R), you're talking about another 150,000 surplus. The same thing's true with the 9th. And so if you shrink them, it's going to leave one right in the middle, which is going to be in Cherokee, Hall area and probably part of Guinette counties. So if you look at just raw numbers, that would be where my guess would be. But of course that's up to the legislature.

The Hotline: Is it more exciting to look at a state that's projected to gain seats or one that is projected to lose?

LW: Let me say this, I enjoy doing both of them. [Laughter] And the reason I enjoy doing both is if you look at the states that are losing seats, they've not typically been good, Republican states overall. You look at the states that are gaining, such as South Carolina, Georgia ...

The Hotline: Texas ...

LW: ... Florida, Texas, we've done fairly well. So, while we haven't done as well in the Northeast, we have in the West and in the South.

The Hotline: How does the fundraising structure work for all of this, considering all the possible legal challenges that could arise?

LW: Well, Jeremy, you know, this is the first reapportionment we've had under McCain-Feingold. In most of the reapportionments or redistricting have been done from soft money. So it's really going to be up to some outside groups.

And the other part as far as the challenges go, we have control of more states now and when you have the total control, then the state basically bears the expense of fighting the challenge. I mean they defend those maps that you draw. And it's a lot cheaper and you have a better chance of defending a map than you do of challenging a map.

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