State lawmakers on Aug. 12 released maps of proposed new legislative districts that could bring significant changes to some portions of the political landscape of north metro Atlanta.
The changes in election district lines could result in north DeKalb Rep. Elena Parent and Rep. Elly Dobbs of Buckhead facing other sitting legislators in the next election.
The map released by the Senate shows District 6, now represented by Sen. Doug Stoner of Smyrna, a Democrat, would take in portions of Sandy Springs and Buckhead.
Dobbs and Parent, both Democrats, will see their districts consolidated with the districts of other incumbent Democrats if the maps are approved in the special session of the Georgia General Assembly beginning Aug. 15.
Parent declined comment Aug. 12. Attempts to reach Dobbs for comment were not successful.
“Each of these pairings is necessitated by the Voting Rights Act and population shifts,” Rep. Edward Lindsey, a Buckhead Republican, said in a news release. “The areas represented by these members lost population in relation to the growth in the rest of the state. For instance, of the 10 smallest districts by population, eight are inside the perimeter in metro Atlanta. South Georgia has similarly lost population.”
In the House, District 80, represented by Rep. Mike Jacobs, a north DeKalb Republican, would add a portion of Sandy Springs under the proposed maps.
In the Senate, District 40, represented by Sen. Fran Millar of Dunwoody, adds a small portion of the “panhandle” area of Sandy Springs. Sens.Vincent Fort and Horacena Tate, both Democrats who represent portions of Buckhead, would see their districts move south, if the new lines are approved.
Committees from the House and Senate have been redrawing the state’s legislative districts to reflect changes in population recorded by the 2010 U.S. Census.
“It’s been tough putting this plan together, but we’ve created a plan that does a great job of representing all Georgians and complying with all legal requirements,” Rep. Roger Lane, chairman of the House Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee, said in a news release. “I’m proud of the plan that we’ve created together and look forward to a bipartisan vote in favor of this plan.”
Democrats quickly attacked the proposed maps as an attempt to eliminate Democrats and strengthen Republican control of the Legislature.
“In our initial assessment, we see that the redistricting maps have drawn to create a super-majority for Republicans,” Tate, chair of the Senate Democratic Reapportionment Committee, said in a press release.
To see the maps, go to http://www.legis.ga.gov/Joint/reapportionment/en-US/default.aspx