Republicans in the Ohio House introduced a new congressional redistricting plan Tuesday that would expand Rep. Steve Chabot’s 1st Congressional District to include all of Warren County.
Thousands of residents of Warren County who have had either Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) or Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) as their representative in Congress are going to wind up with Chabot as their new Congressman, if he wins the 2012 1st District race –a prospect that became more likely with the unveiling of the new map Tuesday.
As the Enquirer’s Howard Wilkinson reports, the move would give the Westwood Republican “a county so rich with republicans that any GOP congressman in America would give his eye teeth to have it in his district.”
Having Warren County in his district can do another nothing but help Chabot in future campaigns.
Warren County, one of the fastest growing counties in the state, is heavily Republican – it voted for John McCain over Barack Obama by over 2-1 in 2008; and, in 2010, gave Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich 54,536 votes to only 22,271 for Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland.
Democrats who live in Chabot’s present district will suddenly find that the hill to they have to climb if they want a Democrat to represent them in Congress has suddenly become much more steep. The 1st District, which has been a battleground in the national war for control of Congress for the past 16 years, will become more of a skirmish than a full-fledged battle.
Chabot’s new district will retain nearly all of western Hamilton County, which has always been his base of support. The city of Cincinnati will remain split between the two districts.
Chabot, first elected to Congress in 1994, went through several tough fights with Democrats from Roxanne Qualls to John Cranley to Steve Driehaus, who ended up defeating him in the Obama surge of 2008. Chabot won back his seat in 2010, defeating Driehaus.
Chabot spokesman Jamie Schwartz would not discuss the political implications of the newly-redrawn 1st district but said “our office will continue to work hard to represent and serve the people of the current First District. And we are looking forward to the opportunity to meet and provide the same level of service to the new constituents in the district.”
Going to District 1: All of Warren County, Montgomery, Symmes Township, Indian Hill Going to District 2: Wyoming, Reading, Mount Healthy, North College Hill, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, part of Woodlawn, all of Clinton County, part of Ross County Going to District 8: Southwest Butler County – Morgan, Ross, Hanover, and Reily townships.
House Republicans also strengthened Schmidt’s 2nd District. She will lose a portion of northeast Hamilton County, but will pick up Clinton County and extend east into part of Ross County. Her district will also pick up Wyoming with the result being a heavily Republican district.
Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou said he was pleased with both the new 1st and 2nd districts.
“We think Chabot’s district comes out of this very solid for Republicans,’’ Triantafilou said. “And the 2nd District remains a dependable Republican district.”
Haley Morris, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, denounced the map as “partisan” and “heavy-handed.”
House Democrats were angered Tuesday that the GOP intends to move so quickly on their redistricting plan.
Majority Leader Armond Budish, D-Cleveland, put out a statement saying the Democrats were pulling out of an earlier agreement with the GOP to push next year’s primary election from March to May.
House Republicans are likely to pass the bill this week after which it will move on to the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate, which is expected to pass it with few, if any, changes. It then goes to the desk of Republican Gov. John Kasich to be signed into law.
The new district boundaries will be in place for next spring’s primary election.
As with any redistricting plan, it is subject to a lawsuit if an individual or group believes that it violates the Constitution or federal laws such as the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
For complete details on the redistricting plan and how it affects other parts of Ohio, see Wilkinson’s story at cincinnati.com.
What do you think of the new redistricting plan or having Chabot as your new representative? Post your comments below.
Posted in: Community, Election, News |