All of Kitsap may move to Congressional District 6
December 29, 2011 · Updated 12:51 PM
POULSBO — Next year, Kitsap County could be in a new congressional district and have a different congressional representative.
The Washington Redistricting Commission released the first bipartisan plan for redrawing the state's Congressional districts Wednesday; commissioners have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to decide on the plan, which would be in effect for 10 years.
Kitsap is currently split between District 1 and 6. North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island is represented by Democrat Jay Inslee. District 6 is represented by Democrat Norm Dicks, and includes counties in the Olympic Peninsula. Inslee announced in June he is running for governor in 2012.
Dicks, a member of the House since Jan. 20, 1977, is 10th in seniority in the House.
In spring 2011, Washington received its Census 2010 data for redrawing legislative and congressional district boundaries. The state’s population grew by nearly 1 million residents in 10 years, to just over 6.7 million, and gave the state a new congressional seat, according to the commission’s website. The plan includes the new district centered around Olympia.
The commission consists of five members: A non-voting chairwoman, a Democrat and Republican appointed by the state House of Representatives, and a Democrat and Republican appointed by the state Senate.
If three of the four voting commissioners agree on the plan, it will be submitted to the Legislature, which will begin reviewing it when the session starts Jan. 9, according to Commission Communications Director Genevieve O’Sullivan.
The Legislature has 30 days to vote in any technical changes before the plan automatically becomes law.
If approved, beginning in February all residents of Kitsap County will turn to Rep. Dicks for their representation in Washington, D.C. O’Sullivan said residents in the new Olympia district will continue to communicate with their current representative until the new 10th District representative is elected in 2012.
According to the map, the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th Districts are Republican, while five are Democratic. However, with the departure of Inslee and a new seat in Olympia, this leaves two seats up for grabs in 2012.