Sussex Countian
  • Delaware House Republicans release redistricting maps

  • Republicans in the Delaware House have released their plans for redrawing the state’s election districts in accordance with the 2010 U.S. Census.

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  • Republicans in the Delaware House have released their plans for redrawing the state’s election districts in accordance with the 2010 U.S. Census.
    The party’s redistricting maps call for two New Castle County representative districts to disappear and pop up south of the canal, including the Brandywine Hundred district represented by House Minority Leader Rep. Greg Lavelle.
    Since the majority party in the General Assembly controls Delaware’s redistricting process, the Republicans aren’t in the driver’s seat. House Democrats are expected to release their maps on Thursday and follow up with a public hearing a week later.
    According to the Republican map, Lavelle’s 11th District would move to Sussex County and cover the area between Georgetown and Lewes, siphoning off some voters from the 14th District, a seat occupied by House Democratic leader Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf.
    The map puts Lavelle in the 10th District, where he would face incumbent Democratic Rep. Dennis E. Williams in a theoretical 2012 election.
    Republican plans also have the 3rd District, which encompasses south Wilmington, migrating to western Kent County, where it would stretch from Cheswold south to Felton.
    Current 3rd District Rep. Helene Keeley would fine herself in the 4th District, a seat held by fellow Democratic Rep. Gerald Brady.
    To make room for the new 3rd District, the map appropriates voters from 34th District Rep. Don Blakey (R-Camden-Wyoming), 30th District Rep. William “Bobby” Outten (R-Harrington) and 31st District Rep. Darryl Scott (D-Dover).
    The Republican maps also shrink two districts in the fast-growing Middletown area: the 8th and 9th districts, held by Democratic Reps. Quinn Johnson and Rebecca Walker respectively.
    The map sets up a possible two-seat gain for Republicans, if they take the pair of new districts created in the more conservative-leaning areas of the state, and assuming Lavelle can’t knock out a Democratic incumbent up north.
    Census figures for Delaware indicate a statewide population gain of 14.6 percent since 2000. However, growth in New Castle County was a paltry 7.6 percent, compared to more than 28 percent in Kent and Sussex counties. The City of Wilmington lost 2.5 percent of its population.
    “The numbers are clear,” Lavelle said in a press release. “To match the population changes we needed to move districts from the north to the south.
    “There was no way to avoid significant changes given our population shifts,” Lavelle added.“I believe in this plan to the extent that I recognize that the district I represent will be moving and that I will share the impact resulting from the changes we need to make.”
    The Republican maps can be viewed at the minority caucus’ website, www.delawarestatehouse.com
    Current election district maps can be viewed at the Department of Elections website, elections.delaware.gov
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