W.Va. House, Senate committees approve redistricting maps

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - West Virginia lawmakers have endorsed proposed maps of congressional and state legislative districts, setting up a potential fight between two of the state’s current members of Congress. West Virginia lost one of its three U.S. House seats after the 2020 Census and lawmakers are trying to redraw the state into two congressional districts.

The Senate Redistricting Committee Monday approved proposed maps for both state Senate and Congressional districts.

While the congressional map may prove to be the more controversial of the two, a committee member asked his fellow senators to make sure the maps follow constitutional law.

“I just ask each of you,” said Sen. Mike Woeffel, Democrat, Cabell County, “before you put your final stamp of approval on a map, take a look at it, and make sure it goes along with the Constitution, and is consistent with the Constitution.”

The congressional map approved by the Senate splits the Mid-Ohio Valley, as it pretty much is now, among the first and second Congressional districts. Overall, it sets up a primary race between Representatives David McKinley and Alex Mooney.

Meanwhile, it appears the newly-formed House of Delegates map, with its single-delegate districts, will put two current delegates in the same district.

“The final cut will put Vernon Criss and I in the same district,” says one of the two current 10th district delegates, John Kelly. “So we’ll have to be looking at some other decisions as we go forward.”

“If my health continues to be good and things work out,” Delegate Criss says, “I intend to file for that delegate district, whatever the number, which is the district I hopefully will represent after the election of 2022.”

Delegate Kelly told us, however, he’s satisfied with the proposed delegate map, saying he wanted a map that was free of gerrymandering.

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