3 members, 2 seats: West Virginia Republicans gird for redistricting showdown

State lawmakers are feeling the squeeze — and say they don’t relish their kingmaking role.

“I’m on a first-name basis, and I know all of the members in the congressional delegation,” said GOP state Del. Chris Pritt. “It can become very, very awkward.”

The state is currently composed of three vertically stacked districts — but because of slow population growth, it lost one of its three House seats in reapportionment. So far, state lawmakers have proposed dozens of ways to condense them. But the most likely outcome would leave Miller, who represents the southern third of the state, in a district by herself.

The state legislature met Monday for a special session to set the political boundaries. The map that advanced in the state Senate links together the northern panhandle (where McKinley lives) with the eastern panhandle (where Mooney lives). It will now go before the entire state Senate for approval.

The question now is whether the state House will adopt a similar map, or whether they will divide the state differently and force the upper chamber to negotiate. The first action there is expected this week.


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