Leg. uncertainty lingers as 2011 elections near

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, June 5, 2011

With Wednesday’s qualifying deadline for state Senate and Houseraces finalized for the four area legislative races, it signals theofficial start of the 2011 legislative election season. However,uncertainty remains due to redistricting issues as come November,winners may find themselves having gear up for a second race againnext summer.

Depending on one’s point of view, be you a candidate or voter, thewinners in Wednesday qualifying deadline were District 53 Rep.Bobby Moak, D- Bogue Chitto who did not draw an opponent, andDistrict 91 Rep. Bob Evans, D-Monticello, who did not did not drawany Democratic Party opponents. He will face either Cindy ShiversBryan or Jimmy Hurst Barton, whoever wins the Republicannomination.

The losers, again depending on your point of view as a candidate orvoter, were District 92 Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, who drewopposition in the November general election from Democrat Ken DaleSullivan of Wesson.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In the Senate race for the District 39 seat, Bogue Chitto’s MichaelSmith gained an opponent for the Democrat race when former SenatorW.L Rayborn decided to make a return to politics. The winner ofthat race will face the winner of the Republican primary – BillBoerner, Sally Doty or Dave Nichols – in November.

The unknown, however, for all voters and candidates alike will bethe final outcome of redistricting – the every 10-year procedurethat adjusts district lines throughout the state so to balancedistricts to match demographics due to population shifts.

The Legislature’s inability to set redistricting lines earlier thisyear has forced a stalemate that was settled – at least temporarily- by a three-judge federal panel last month.

The panel ruled for the elections to be held under current districtlines drawn in 2002. The catch here is that the district boundariesmust be withdrawn in 2012!

The redistricting unknown leaves legislative candidates and votersto head into the November general elections not knowing if thewinner will serve a one-year term before seeking re-election or afour-year term.