With Republican majorities in both houses, their maps seemed certain to pass in the current special session, barring any last-minute changes.
Current House district lines currently cut St. Clair County into four pieces, and two Senate districts. That apparently will change to three for each in the 2014 election. McClendon is the only St. Clair County resident in the county’s delegation, and he observes there hasn’t been a state senator who is a county resident in his lifetime.
Talladega County’s House districts will see some changes but the major change will be in Senate representation. The entirety of the county is currently included in Senate District 11, and is represented by Jerry Fielding (D). But under the new plan, the county will be cut into four pieces for Senate representation. Besides Fielding, the other senators currently representing the other districts are all Republicans, Scott Beason, Slade Blackwell and Del Marsh.
The new alignment for District 11 includes portions of areas of Shelby County and St. Clair County that have traditionally voted more heavily for Republican candidates than has Talladega County. The new District 11 happens to include Jim McClendon’s home in Springville; if McClendon decides to run for Senate in 2014, he could be challenging Fielding for the seat.
Voting strength of majority black districts was not diluted, but white Democrats are now on the state’s endangered list. Some are looking for legal challenges, and some are hoping for a Justice Department decision that will soften the blow.
But elections have consequences, and that’s how the game is played. As the old saying goes, how you view it depends on whose ox is being gored.
For a look at the maps, look for the links at http://www.legislature.state.al.us/reapportionment/reap.html.