Dave Reichert’s district retains Issaquah under redrawn congressional map
January 3, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
Issaquah remains in U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s 8th Congressional District but some Issaquah School District communities shift to another district as the state panel responsible for a redrawn political map shifts boundaries to create a new congressional district centered in Olympia.
In a plan unveiled Dec. 28, Washington State Redistricting Commission members Tim Ceis and Slade Gorton proposed a 10th Congressional District based in the capital city and a 9th Congressional District stretching from Tacoma to Bellevue.
The redrawn 8th District — confined to King and Pierce counties in the existing arrangement — is stretched from South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County. The current and future district includes Issaquah.
Under the redrawn map, Issaquah remains in a redrawn 8th District alongside other cities contained inside existing district boundaries — North Bend, Sammamish and Snoqualmie — plus Pierce, Chelan and Kittitas counties.
Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, has represented the district since 2005.
“While some of the communities I am representing may change, my commitment and dedication to being a public servant will not. I am excited to have an opportunity to represent new communities in Central and Western Washington and continue to serve as a voice for Washingtonians,” he said in a statement.
The reshaped 9th District encompasses Newcastle in the Issaquah School District. Tacoma Democrat Adam Smith represents the 9th District in Congress.
“In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to the opportunity to meet with community leaders, local elected officials and new residents to listen and learn about the most important issues facing their communities,” he said in a statement. “Regardless of how the congressional lines have changed, I will continue to work hard, promote policies that encourage job creation and economic growth, and make sure the people of the 9th Congressional District are heard and well-represented in Congress.”
The redistricting commission intended to complete the process in November, but commissioners continued to iron out details until late December. If the commission failed to create maps by the January deadline, then the law calls for the state Supreme Court to redraw congressional and legislative districts.
The bipartisan redistricting commission includes voting members — Democrats Ceis, a former Seattle deputy mayor; Dean Foster, a former chief clerk for the state House of Representatives; and Republicans Gorton, a former U.S. senator, and Tom Huff, a former state budget chairman — and a nonvoting chairwoman, Lura Powell, former director of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Washington voters established the Washington State Redistricting Commission in 1983 to establish voting boundaries through a bipartisan process.
Commissioners assembled the districts using data from the 2010 Census. Washington’s population growth in the past decade means the state is poised to add a 10th seat in the House of Representatives after the November 2012 election.
The panel also reshaped legislative districts. In a plan unveiled Dec. 16, Ceis and Gorton proposed a 41st Legislative District stretching from Mercer Island to Sammamish. The proposal encompasses North Issaquah, Newcastle and most Bellevue neighborhoods.
The map puts the remaining Issaquah neighborhoods in the 5th Legislative District — a more rural area stretched from Issaquah to the Snoqualmie Pass.
Under a legislative map adopted a decade ago, Issaquah is split between the 41st and 5th districts at 12th Avenue Northwest.
South Cove and other neighborhoods along Lake Sammamish fall inside the 48th Legislative District. The proposal from Ceis and Gorton moves the 48th District north to encompass Bellevue and Redmond.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.