Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson told 1819 News on Monday that the ramifications for his city are not yet evident in response to the state’s new congressional district map, which moved the majority of Covington County away from its traditional place in District 2 to District 1.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama Legislature’s proposed congressional map on Friday in response to a court order upheld by the Supreme Court in June. The court ruling required the Alabama Legislature to create a second majority-black or almost majority-black district.
Alabama’s District 7, held by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), is the only majority-black congressional district in the state.
Ivey called the legislature into a special session beginning earlier this month. The proposed plan does not include two majority-black districts but one majority-black district and a district with around a 40% black voting-age population.
Andalusia, located in the central part of Covington County, would be in the same district as Mobile if the map is approved by a three-judge panel in district court on August 14. If the plan is not approved, a court-appointed special master must redraw the map.
“Obviously, we don’t know the total ramifications yet,” Johnson said. “The center of District 1, of course - the power base - is in Mobile, Alabama, Baldwin County, which is a good long way from Andalusia, Covington County ...Of course, it’s a long ways from Mobile to Washington too … It’s not a final deal. We have until the court says it is.”
District 2 is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), while District 3 is represented by U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile).
Johnson said he’s already met with Carl, and Carl assured him that he would pay attention to Andalusia, even if Mobile is a bigger area.
But not all of Covington County would move to District 1 under the proposed plan. The legislature zoned a chunk of the northern part of the county for District 7.
“I hate to see Covington County chopped up,” Johnson said.
However, Johnson assured that his municipality would work with what they get no matter what happens.
“We don't have a lot of say about it,” he said. “We don’t have the power in the Legislature to impact how those lines get drawn. That’s just a fact. We’ve got some great guys up there … But they’re both freshmen.”
“It’s like any other kind of change,” Johnson continued. “You’re concerned about it. Whatever it turns out to be, we’ll make the best of it, and I hope our congressman, whoever that turns out to be, will be as attentive to Covenant County as they are to Mobile and Baldwin County.”
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