New Congressional Map Proposes Major Changes in Atlanta’s Northern Suburbs
Monday, December 4th, 2023
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The Georgia Senate’s Republican majority released a new congressional map for the Peach State Friday aimed at creating an additional Black majority district as ordered by a federal judge.
The proposed map, which the General Assembly will begin considering next week, would radically alter the 6th Congressional District the GOP-controlled legislature drew two years ago, part of a map U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled in October violates the Voting Rights Act.
The current 6th District, represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Rich McCormick, is a white-majority district stretching from East Cobb County and North Fulton County north through all of Forsyth and Dawson counties and part of Cherokee County.
The redrawn 6th District would have a Black-majority voting-age population. It would include portions of Cobb and Fulton counties that are predominantly Black as well as eastern Douglas and northern Fayette counties, areas with fast-growing Black populations.
The proposed map also makes huge changes to Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, which currently includes most of Gwinnett County and northeastern Fulton County, areas with large concentrations of people of color, including Hispanics and Asian Americans. The district currently is represented by Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath.
Under the new map, the 7th District would be taken completely out of Gwinnett County. Instead, it would include North Fulton County; all of Forsyth, Dawson, and Lumpkin counties; and western Hall County, all heavily white areas.
McBath campaign manager Jake Orvis released a statement shortly after the map was released criticizing the proposal.
“Georgia Republicans have yet again attempted to subvert voters by changing the rules,” Orvis said. “We will look to the ruling from Judge Jones in the coming weeks before announcing further plans.”
The redrawn 6th District, which McBath represented until legislative Republicans drew the current congressional map two years ago, would again appear to be friendly turf for the Democrat. After the 2021 redistricting, McBath decided to run in the 7th District instead and defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in last year’s Democratic primary before winning the seat.
On the other hand, the proposed 7th Congressional District would appear to suit McCormick. He ran in the old 7th District in 2020 but lost to Bourdeaux. McCormick then shifted to the 6th District following the 2021 redistricting and won the seat.
Members of the U.S. House are not required to live in the districts they represent.
The remainder of Georgia’s 14 congressional districts would be left largely unchanged under the Senate’s proposed map, with some exceptions.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s 14th district in Northwest Georgia would lose southwestern Cobb and move instead into northwestern Cobb. Residents of predominantly Black southwestern Cobb objected when they were placed in conservative firebrand Greene’s district two years ago.
Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns, R-Newington, embraced the Senate’s congressional map on Friday.
“This map meets the promise we made when this process began: it fully complies with the judge’s order, while also following Georgia’s traditional redistricting principles,” Burns said. “We look forward to passing this fair redistricting plan.”