NJ Must Eliminate One Congressional District

Thursday, 03 Nov 2011 11:42 AM

By Greg McDonald

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New Jersey’s Redistricting Commission will be playing the equivalent of Russian Roulette over the next couple of months as it decides which of the state’s 13 congressional districts will have to be eliminated because of slow population growth.
 
The loss of a congressional seat means that the remaining members of the delegation will have to add more territory to their own districts, according to the Bergen County Record.
 
It also means that two incumbents will have to face off in the June primary or the November general election next year, the paper noted, unless someone quits.
 
“The real dilemma that’s posed by this map is not just that we’re losing a seat, which we are, but that . . . the districts that have to add the most people are all in the same area; they’re all up north,” commission chairman John Farmer Jr., the dean of Rutgers Law School and a former state attorney general, said recently.
 
The six Republican members of the delegation, of course, would rather see two of the seven Democrats square off.
 
 The Record reported that Farmer, who holds the nonpartisan role as head of the 13-member commission, has offered no clues as to which district might get the ax.
 
In addition to Farmer, the commission is made up of six Democrats and six Republicans. It has until Jan. 17 to figure it all out. 

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