Georgia redistricting to diminish rural lawmakers, influence

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FILE – Rep. Sam Watson, a Moultrie Republican, speaks to the House on Friday, March 10, 2017, in Atlanta. Watson is one of many south Georgia lawmakers representing districts where population growth didn’t keep up with the state in the last decade, raising the possibility that some rural districts may be shifted to metro Atlanta or Savannah. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s majority Republicans may have to sacrifice some rural GOP incumbents as they work to redraw House and Senate districts to account for population growth.

An Associated Press analysis finds at least one state Senate district and as many as four House districts may have to shift out of middle and south Georgia.

Northwest Georgia also could lose a House district.

Eliminating Black Democrats could invite lawsuits, and there’s only one white Democrat remaining in the General Assembly.

A county had to grow by more than 10% just to keep up with Georgia’s overall growth, but cities and suburbs gained people while 53 of the 71 smallest counties lost population.

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