Hardaway Drafting Alternative Redistricting Plans

While Republicans continue to draft new state legislative districts, state Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, says he’ll introduce an alternative redistricting plan for Shelby County that will increase the number of majority black voting districts from nine to 10, reports the Commercial Appeal.
The plan would also protect Democratic incumbents, just as Republicans will likely do for their incumbents.
The Republicans control both houses of the legislature and could simply ignore the plan and others like it that Hardaway and others introduce. Republican leaders drawing maps have not yet released them publicly.
However, Hardaway said that he and supporters are preparing for a possible lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act, which prevents dilution of the voting power of African-Americans or other minority groups.
Hardaway said he’s working with other members of the legislature’s black caucus as well as groups that include the NAACP and the Durham, N.C.-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
….Because other parts of the state have gained population relative to the Memphis area, Shelby County is likely to lose one of its six state Senate seats and two of its 16 state House seats. ….(Rep.) Barbara Cooper, a Democrat, has said her District 86 would be combined with Hardaway’s District 92.

Note: There’s a lot of speculation that the primary targets of Republican redistricting in Shelby County are white, not black. By some accounts, Reps. Jeanne Richardson and Mike Kernell can expect their districts to effectively be disintegrated and distributed among districts now held by African-Americans. Something along the same lines is likely to impact Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle’s district.

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