Dems Practice Rare Redistricting Restraint
West Virginia Democrats won't swing for the fences after all, after a key state Senate panel rejected plans to gerrymander Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley into the same seat.
Instead, the committee unanimously advanced a plan that does not change McKinley's 1st district, which takes in the state's northern panhandle. Capito's district, in the central part of the state, will cede Mason County to Rep. Nick Rahall, D, whose district needs to pick up around 30,000 residents.
The full state Senate could vote on the plan as early as today. The map is expected to be approved by the state House and signed into law by acting Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the Charleston Daily Mail reported.
Democrats may have been anxious about drawing Capito into a difficult race for fear she would challenge Sen. Joe Manchin, who is seeking a full term in 2012.
Meanwhile, with the composition of McKinley's swing district expected to remain identical, the Democrat he defeated in 2010, ex-state Sen. Mike Oliverio, has been "hanging around" the Statehouse in Charleston this week, in the words of the Charleston Gazette.