MONTGOMERY — Members of the Alabama House passed a redistricting plan sponsored by House Pro-Tem Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) on Wednesday.
The Community of Interest plan passed by a margin of 74-27 after hours of questioning of Pringle by Democrats in opposition to the map. The plan keeps all of Mobile and Baldwin Counties in the first congressional district. Pringle said on Monday the plan increases the second congressional district's black voting age population from 31.86% to 42.45%. The white population would be 48.51% in the district under the plan.
"It can be won by either a Republican or a Democrat," Pringle said about the second congressional district under his plan on Wednesday. "It goes both ways."
The district's seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise).
The seventh congressional district would have a 39.79%/52.15% black/white split under the plan.
Democrats oppose the plan because they say it doesn't have a high enough black voting-age population in the second congressional district to elect two minority representatives to Congress in Alabama.
"In order for minorities to have an opportunity to win a district, the district has to be majority-minority," State Rep. Kelvin Lawrence (D-Hayneville) said on Wednesday.
The plan now heads to the Senate for their consideration. Members of the Senate Confirmations Committee passed an amended version of the Community Interest Plan by State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) yesterday by an 11-5 margin that features a second congressional district with an approximately 38% black voting age population.
On Wednesday, Pringle said on the House floor that Republican political consultant Chris Brown originally wrote Livingston's plan for State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook).
Copies of both redistricting maps can be viewed here.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld with a 5-4 vote in June a lower court's decision to require the Alabama Legislature to redraw their congressional districts passed in 2021 to include a second majority-black congressional district or a district with a high enough black voting age population where a minority representative could possibly be elected.
Alabama's seventh congressional district is currently the only majority-black congressional district in Alabama. It is held by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham).
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