UPDATE: new map shrinks Fayette footprint of 13th district


Under a new congressional district map passed today by a legislative committee, Fayette County won’t have as much of a footprint in the 13th district currently held by Democrat U.S. Rep. David Scott.

State Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, told The Citizen today that the latest map gives Scott’s district about 15 percent of Fayette’s population. In contrast, the first version of the map had put about 35 percent of Fayette County in the U.S. 13th district.

Ramsey noted that the new map eliminates the splitting of both Tyrone and Fayetteville that were proposed on the first map. Both municipalities will remain in the 3rd district, currently held by U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.

The changes to the map will move about 21,000 people back into the 3rd district, Ramsey said. Currently Fayette County is completely in Westmoreland’s 13th district.

Scott’s district currently has no part of Fayette County, though it previously had one small area in northeast Fayette in its previous incarnation.

Ramsey said both he and Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, had been working on getting the maps amended to keep as much of Fayette County in Westmoreland’s 3rd district as possible. They are hoping to further reduce the 13th’s footprint in Fayette as well, Ramsey said.

The first version of the maps, which had 35 percent of Fayette County moving from the 3rd district to Scott’s 13th district, had both Ramsey and Chance “very concerned,” Ramsey said.


Following is the previous story that was based on the intial version of the map proposed by state legislative leaders:

Democrat U.S. Congressman David Scott stands to gain quite a bit of ground in Fayette County under a redistricting map proposed by Georgia Republican leaders. What Scott gains is being given up by Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.

Rep. Scott’s 13th district currently has just a small chunk of northeast Fayette County. The area is statistically insignificant enough that Fayette County is not even mentioned on the congressman’s website.

That stands to change, however, if the initial version of a new congressional redistricting map is approved by the Georgia legislature in the coming days.

On the new map, Scott’s district would expand into the upper northern tier of Fayette County westward to include part of Tyrone, and also to the south to take in a significant chunk on Fayette’s eastern side, including much of the city of Fayetteville. Only a portion of south Fayetteville would remain in the 3rd District currently held by Westmoreland, a former resident of Fayette County, but who now lives in Grantville in Meriwether County.

As the new map is proposed, Rep. Scott also would have the lion’s share of south Fulton County, all of Douglas County, part of south Cobb County and parts of Clayton and Henry counties in his district. He would lose a segment of Butts County to Republican Rep. Paul Broun’s 10th district.

Last week, legislators approved the new district maps for the legislature’s Senate and House districts, resulting in the maps being sent to the corresponding chamber for final approval later this week.

Those new maps tilt Fayette County’s state legislative delegation to a Republican majority while also creating a brand new district without an incumbent in office that is split between Fayette County and parts of south Fulton and south Clayton counties.

In Fayette County, the new 63rd district encompasses the unincorporated Fayette area north and east of Fayetteville, along with nearly all of Fayetteville. The remainder of the district snakes northward in a sliver of unincorporated south Fulton County that runs up to College Park, and also to the southwest into the southern tip of Clayton County that rests between the Fayette and Henry county lines.

The wide-open 63rd district is not the only major political shift handed down by the new map. Fayette no longer will be associated with the districts currently represented by Democrats Roberta Abdul-Salaam and Darryl Jordan, both of Riverdale, but it would gain association with the 71st district held by Republican Rep. Billy Horne of Newnan.

Horne, along with Rep. Matt Ramsey of Peachtree City and Rep. John Yates of Griffin would makeup a Republican majority of Fayette’s delegation to the Georgia House of Representatives.

Horne picks up a small portion of Peachtree City in the Wilksmoor Village area north of Ga. Highway 54 and west of Ga. Highway 74. The remainder of his 71st district encompasses nearly the entire eastern portion of Coweta County including Sharpsburg and part of Newnan.

In another change, Ramsey’s 72nd district loses the south side of Fayetteville and a tiny portion of the unincorporated county southeast of Fayetteville. In exchange, the 72nd extends into the southern tip of Fayette County and Brooks, along with a chunk of southeast Coweta county including all of Senoia and Haralson.

Likewise, Fayette will keep the 73rd district currently held by Rep. John Yates, loses the southern tip of Fayette County and Brooks but will maintain nearly the entire unincorporated area southeast of Fayetteville including Woolsey.

Democrat Rep. Virgil Fludd of Tyrone, currently of the 66th district, sees little change on the Fayette County side of his district, losing his only precinct in Peachtree City.

The legislative maps have drawn significant criticism from the state Democratic Party, as Democrats in both chambers voted against the maps.

Democrats contend the maps had several flaws, including the “unfair and unconstitutional … targeting of incumbents based on race.”

Democrats also accused Republicans of “using races as the predominant factor in drawing districts without a compelling justification.”

The Democrats did proffer maps that sought no additional seats for Democrats and also failed to diminish the Republican’s control of the House, Democratic party officials said.

Instead, Democrats contend the Republican-drawn maps eliminate Democratic incumbents to help create a Republican super majority in the legislature.

It was noted that Democrats were first given a look at the entire state map on Aug. 12, mere days before they were to be considered by the full legislature.