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Supreme Court Grants Extension For Redistricting To December 21

Christopher Keating

December 07, 2011

The State Supreme Court has granted an extension to the special reapportionment commission to continue drawing the new boundary lines for the state's five Congressional districts for the November 2012 election.

State legislators had sought the extension, which was expected by all sides to be granted. That finally happened on Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans and Democrats have been locked in disagreement over the Congressional lines - although they said they had spent most of their time in meeting their deadlines for the 151 state House of Representatives seats and 36 state Senate seats.

In their initial offering, Republicans offered a map that would move Bridgeport - a Democratic stronghold - into the 3rd Congressional District, which is already a Democratic stronghold that is represented by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of New Haven. But that move would also help Republicans to win the Fourth Congressional District, which they had held for more than three decades when the incumbents were Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. of Greenwich, Stewart McKinney of Fairfield, and Christopher Shays of Bridgeport. Shays finally lost to Democrat Jim Himes of Greenwich in 2008 - the year that Barack Obama won the presidency and Democrats swept offices nationwide.

The Republican map would move Danbury from the 5th District into the 4th District and move the 4th District all the way north to Sherman.

The 1st District, currently held by U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, would stretch from Middletown on the south to Suffield and Enfield on the north. Currently, the first district has an odd shape of a backwards claw - stretching from Portland to Colebrook to Torrington. Simsbury would remain in the 5th District, but Granby would be taken out of the 1st District and moved into the 5th District under the GOP plan. New Britain, the hometown of former U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, would be moved to the 1st District under the GOP plan.

State House Speaker Christopher Donovan of Meriden stepped down from the commission for the redrawing of the Congressional map because he is seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy in the Fifth Congressional District. His opponents - including Republican Michael Clark and Mark Greenberg - had called upon Donovan to step down.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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