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GOP Redistrict Plan Makes Major Changes

Published Thursday Nov 4, 2021


GOP Redistrict Plan Makes Major Changes

Two very different proposals for redrawing the boundaries of the state’s two congressional districts were released Tuesday evening.

The Republican plan for the Congressional districts would create one certain Democratic seat and one Republican.

The Democratic plan shifts just the town of Hampstead from District 1 to District 2.

The Republican plan moves Democratic strongholds along the eastern border of the state to District 2, while moving traditionally Republican District 2 towns along the Massachusetts border into District 1.

The towns moving to District 1 would include Salem, Windham, Hudson, Pelham and Atkinson and also Republican leaning towns east of Concord that are currently in the second district.

Democratic strongholds moved from District 1 to District 2 include Portsmouth, Durham, Dover and Somersworth.

The Republican map looks like a thumb up the middle of the state ending below the White Mountains.

That would make it nearly impossible for a Democrat to win District 1 and a Republican to win District 2. That would guarantee Republicans at least one Congressional seat. Both are now held by Democrats as are the two Senate seats.

The two plans will be discussed at Thursday’s House Special Committee on Districting which meets at 10 a.m. in Rooms 210-211 of the Legislative Office Building.

Earlier Wednesday at a redistricting committee meeting, Chairman Rep. Barbara Griffin, R-Goffstown, said one of the tenants of remapping is not to consider incumbency when drawing new lines. You could be taking care of yourself, she noted. “You cannot protect incumbency,” Griffin said.

The Republicans’ proposed changes brought swift response from Democratic legislative leaders who called the proposed map a partisan power grab.

Deputy House Minority Leader and Ranking Democrat on the Special Committee on Redistricting David E. Cote, D-Nashua, said the proposed changes ought to outrage all Granite Staters and he called on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu to veto the plan if it passes.

“The proposed drastic re-drawing of Congressional districts is unprecedented and designed with the singular goal of rigging elections through partisan gerrymandering,” Cote said.

He noted although Republicans redrew the political boundaries for decades, the two Congressional districts remained largely unchanged.

Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, called the plan barefaced partisan politics.

“Their proposal is an unabashed attempt to ensure Republican rule and flies in the face of fair representation for every citizen – a constitutional tenet we’ve all been sworn to uphold as elected officials.” Soucy said.

Garry Rayno may be reached at

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