Redistricting plan leaves county split

Redistricting plan leaves county split
New Tennessee State House districts were an-nounced today with Obion County to be split between two representatives, ac-cording to state Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton.
In making the announcement, the first term Re-publican businessman ex-pressed his appreciation to the redistricting committee “for their hard work and countless hours in drawing the new district lines.”
Political districting lines are redrawn every 10 years, following the census, to reflect population shifts across the state.
Sanderson said a map displaying the new district lines will be released in the next few days that will show precisely where the new boundaries are, but he can say already that South Fulton and the northeastern part of Obion County will now be included in District 76, currently represented by state Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden.
The 77th District, represented by Sanderson thanks to his victory in the November 2010 contest, will take in all of Dyer County, all of Lake County and most of Obion County.
“The census revealed Obion County is now considerably smaller than Dyer County,” said Sanderson, noting District 76 needed additional population and Holt’s district could not expand east, as the population in District 75 was on target.
The solution was to add the rest of Dyer County to District 77 and put part of Obion County in District 76 to reach the correct population size for all the entities involved, according to the census.
State Rep. Steve Mc-Daniel (R-Lexington) who sat on the House redistricting committee said, “When possible, the Legislature prefers to keep an entire county in one district. We know it is not optimal, but 29 of Tennessee’s less populous counties are being split in this redistricting plan.”
“Overall, the state population has grown from 5.6 million, at the last census, to 6.3 million,” Sanderson said. “That’s an increase of 11.5 percent. There are 99 House Districts and 33 Senate Districts in the Tennessee General Assembly, and the state’s population must be equally divided among all of us. Each House District will be comprised of approximately 64,000 residents.”
Obion and Lake counties both lost population, according to the latest census, and Dyer County grew by more than 3 percent.
“I’ve heard concerns about splitting Obion County into two districts,” Sanderson said. “Many people are worried that splitting the county is a bad thing, but I assure you, I will continue to work and fight for Obion County as I’ve done this past year. I am a life-long Obion County resident and I will do everything in my power to protect the interestsof my county. I am confident Representative Holt will work equally as hard for Obion County. We now have two aggressive, business-focused representatives working for Obion County, and that will be positive for our area.” Published in The Messenger 1.4.12

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