Update: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that as of mid-afternoon Tuesday, the proposed map had been approved by a Senate redistricting committee and could make it in front of senators for a vote on Wednesday. If passed there, it would land on Gov. Nathan Deal's desk to receive his approval.
Paulding County residents may soon have a new name to learn when it comes to their representation in the U.S. Congress.
The state’s proposed congressional map would move Paulding County out of the 11th District of U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, and into the newly created 14th District, represented by another Republican, Tom Graves of Ranger. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the map is set to be approved this week and would create one of the strongest Republican districts in the state.
Dallas-Hiram Patch attempted to get local leaders’ thoughts on the proposed changes last week. One such leader who responded was Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, who said he was concerned with the district as it was drawn.
“I am not opposed to Rep. Graves, but think that the plan disconnects Paulding County from vital interests in Metro Atlanta,” Austin said. “Paulding County is the most populous county in the new district by more than 40 percent, yet it seems marginalized geographically. The district leaves us as the toe of the boot stuck under Bartow County, which remains in Gingrey’s 11th district.
“Our water and air quality issues are governed by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and the Atlanta Regional Commission. ARC also has some governance over our transportation initiatives, including the City of Dallas’ LCI (Livable Centers Initiative) Plan,” Austin added. “We have much more in common with Cobb and Bartow Counties than we do with Floyd and Whitfield.”
In addition to Floyd and Whitfield, the map as drawn would put Paulding in a district with nine other whole counties in the northwestern part of the state, as well as a portion of yet another.
Carolyn Delamont, president and CEO of the , said the proposed move to the 14th takes away a longtime ally to the county’s business interests.
“The Paulding Chamber has had a great working relationship with Congressman Gingrey,” Delamont said. “The congressman has always been receptive to the input from the Paulding business community and his representation will be greatly missed.”