Breaking Down the New Washington Map
Washington state's bipartisan Redistricting Commission released a new congressional map proposal on Wednesday. The draft creates a new 10th District centered around the city of Olympia, shores up Republican Reps. Dave Reichert and Jaime Herrera Beutler and creates a majority minority district - if barely - in the 9th District.
A closer look at the four biggest takeaways from the proposed map, which you can take a look at on the commission's website.
-- 3rd's The Charm: If you were to write up a list of winners following the release of the draft map, 3rd District freshman Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler would be at the top.
Herrera Beutler's district sheds Democratic-leaning Olympia in Thurston County to the new 10th District and picks up GOP-leaning Klickitat County to the southeast, along the Oregon border.
What's more, Herrera Beutler's 2010 Democratic opponent Denny Heck, who lost by just six points last year, will not be running in the 3rd, which has been shored up for the GOP. Rather, he announced on Wednesday that he will run in the new 10th District.
It's also worth mentioning that Herrera Beutler's GOP neighbor to the northeast, Dave Reichert, who has won four straight competitive races should also be pleased with the new map, which adds to his district some GOP-friendly real estate east of the Cascades in Kittias and Chelan Counties.
-- Give 'Em Heck! Heck also should be counted among the winners. He announced months ago that he would make another congressional run, but stopped short of saying where he would make a bid. On Wednesday, just after the draft map was released, Heck released a statement making clear he would run in the new 10th (just 24 minutes after the map was released), something The Hotline predicted earlier this month.
The new 10th District is built around the city of Olympia, a Democratic stronghold in Thurston County, which used to be in the 3rd District. The southeastern tip of Mason County and the western part of Pierce County will also be part of the new 10th.
-- First Read : The new 1st District bears the closest resemblance to Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen's old 2nd District, but with the Democratic-leaning coast, from the Seattle suburbs north to Bellingham, sliced off. However, it still leans Democratic: In 2010, GOP Senate nominee Dino Rossi was only able to barely crack the 50 percent mark in the new district, suggesting it may prove a tough climb for Republicans, especially during a non-wave year. Republican commissioner and former GOP Sen. Slade Gorton said the new 1st District could be the most closely divided in the country in 2012, but Democrats appear to have a head start in the area.