General Assembly considering redistricting map that would leave Columbus with two congressional seats

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Georgia General Assembly has re-drawn the districts for the state House and Senate. They are now working on the Congressional maps. 

The proposed new maps would keep two Congressional seats in Muscogee County, …  but the more conservative 3rd District would shrink almost in half in Columbus. 

If the maps currently being considered by the General Assembly are approved, look for Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop to get a bigger chunk of Columbus. 

But Republican Congressman Drew Ferguson is not being completely pushed out of Muscogee County. 

“Regardless of whether there is one vote or the originally 30,000 votes or now 16,000 votes, that means that Congressman Ferguson will still represent Columbus,” said Joseph Brannan, treasurer of the Georgia Republican Party. “And having a congressman with his potential rank in a new Congress next year with be huge for Columbus.” 

Ferguson’s 3rd District will lose half of the more than 30,000 voters it currently contains. That means that Bishop’s District will gain about 16,000 registered voters and have more than 80 percent of the local electorate. 

“The Democratic party is excited that we will still have strong Democratic support in the Second Congressional District,” said Tonza Thomas, chairperson of the Muscogee County Democratic Party. “And we are proud of Congressman Sanford Bishop. He has done great work over these last few decades. We are pretty excited to keep him at home.” 

The 3rd District will be contained to the northwest corner of the county. 

“Congressman Bishop had to grow by a significant number so that meant he would probably come into Columbus some more.,” Brannan said. “But I know Congressman Ferguson loves Columbus and would do what he could to continue representing part of the community.” 

The 2nd District stretches east to Macon and down to the Florida line. It becomes a little less Democratic. 

“A lot of people who have moved into his district are white,” Thomas said. “And many whites in Muscogee County are Democrats. As the chair of the Democratic Party, we see the balance. Congressman Bishop will be fine. He will be fine.” 

The original map released by the Republican-controlled state Senate in this partisan process had Ferguson, a West Point native, losing all of Muscogee and southern Harris. That does not look like it will happen.

The new lines must be approved by the Georgia House and Senate. That could come as early as Friday. 

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