Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission finalizes redistricting maps

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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission’s new Legislative and Congressional maps were approved last week. We asked Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services about what the newly designed districts mean for the future of Arizona politics.

As the redistricting maps were being discussed, drafted and voted on, “at first it was not contentious at all, there were a lot of 5-nothing votes which is real interesting considering you have 2 democrats, 2 republicans and an independent, but it got sort of nasty toward the end as folks started to realize that as we draw these districts, we’re going to cement in a republican majority in both the congressional delegation and the legislative delegation for the next decade,” Fischer said.

He continued that he believes the democrats felt that republicans began to tweak things to make it more beneficial for the republican party.

This was a unanimous vote that was a bit surprising but, “there’s only so much you can do. I think everyone was hoping for a 10th congressional seat which would have allowed for a little bit more flexibility. That didn’t happen,” Fischer said

How many competitive districts are we going to have in terms of congressional races?

“It comes out to what you define as competitive. I mean, you’ve got Greg Stanton’s district, which is considered competitive by virtue of his incumbency he probably is safe, you have O’Halleran’s district which again has gone back and forth over the years although the lines have changed which is probably going to lean more republican although O’Halleran seems to think he can hold out,” Fischer said.

But the one Fischer feels is fairly competitive is new congressional district 6, “one that Kirkpatrick occupied, it leans moderately republican but this is also a district that Gabby Giffords had represented for some time so it’s hard to say.”

Howie Fischer, Capitol Media Services

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