Issaquah’s congressional district could be redrawn

December 28, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

The congressional district containing Issaquah could be redrawn in order to accommodate rapid population growth during the past decade.

The sprawling 8th Congressional District has added 137,750 residents since the 2000 Census. State figures indicate the district increased in population more than the state’s eight other congressional districts. The district is home to about 800,000 people. The state considers the ideal population for a district to be 672,000.

Republican Congressman Dave Reichert has represented the suburban district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005.

The state added the 8th District after the 1980 Census. No Democrat has represented the district in Congress, even as district voters backed Democrats for state and federal offices.

The district stretches from Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside and South King County cities through rural Pierce County.

Washington is also in line to add a 10th congressional seat in 2012. The state convenes a bipartisan commission early next year to draw congressional and legislative districts.

State elections officials said the addition of a 10th district means significant changes for the other Evergreen State districts. Washington last added a congressional seat — for the Tacoma-centric 9th Congressional District — after the 1990 Census.

The state population has swelled by 14.1 percent since the 2000 Census to 6,724,540 people. Most political observers expect the district to be created in the South Puget Sound region.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said. “This is a great day for the people of Washington. We gain in clout, with another strong voice in Congress to be added in 2012. We gain an Electoral College vote and our population gain means we get a little larger slice of the pie as federal grants are apportioned out based on population.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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