Governor proposes redistricting map – NBC Boston


Republican Gov. Chris Sununu sent lawmakers his preferred redistricting plan on Tuesday, days after rejecting the congressional map they approved.

The House and Senate passed a plan that would tilt the 1st Congressional District toward the Republicans while bolstering the Democratic advantage in the 2nd District. But Republicans hold only a narrow majority in the legislature, and neither body has endorsed the plan with enough votes to overcome Sununu’s promised veto.

According to the current map, the 1st District covers the eastern part of the state and part of the south, including Manchester. The 2nd District covers communities in the west, north, and some communities in the south, including Nashua.

With the latest U.S. Census figures showing the 1st Ward about 18,000 more residents than the 2nd, Democrats have proposed making just one change: moving the town of Hampstead from the 1st Ward to the 2nd. But the Republican-approved plan would create a 1st District that rises from the southeast corner to the middle of the state, with the 2nd District reaching and surrounding it.

Republican strongholds in southern New Hampshire, including Salem, Hudson, Windham and Atkinson, would move to the 1st District, while Seacoast communities including Portsmouth, Rochester, Dover and Durham and surrounding towns would move to the 2nd.

Under Sununu’s proposal, Windham, Salem and Atkinson would move to the 1st District, but the Seacoast communities would not change. Hooksett would move from the 1st district to the 2nd, as would a cluster of towns from Campton extending east to Conway and north to Jackson.

“It is certainly not the only solution, but I hope it will be helpful,” Sununu wrote to the legislative leaders. “It keeps our districts competitive, passes the smell test, and holds our incumbents accountable so no elected official is immune from challengers or constituent services.”

Although Democrats hold both state seats in the U.S. House, the 1st District seat was reversed five times in seven election cycles before Democrat Chris Pappas won his first term in 2018.

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