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Republicans cry conspiracy over redistricting

Republicans are really mad about redistricting. An approved draft (as in preliminary) congressional map strengthens the chances of Democratic incumbents Gabby Giffords and Raul Grijalva, both of whom narrowly won re-election last year. Republican freshman David Schweikert and Ben Quayle, on the other hand, appear to be on a collision course and could face each other in the primary in 2012. And Republicans have argued that the map, which has two rural districts, runs counter to the required constitutional requirement of respecting communities of interest.

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Proposed congressional map has candidates searching for most favorable district (access required)

While Republicans denounce Arizona’s proposed congressional map, politicos on both sides of the aisle are eying the new opportunities it provides, and two GOP incumbents are preparing to fight each other for their political survival.

The districts are subject to change as the Independent Redistricting Commission begins a 30-day round of public hearings on the map. But based on the current lines, several interesting races are shaping up. The Arizona Capitol Times took a look at each of the nine proposed districts and the races Arizona voters might see.

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Another one of life’s unsolved mysteries

The constitutional language that governs the IRC is very clear that the panel cannot draw its maps with the homes of incumbents or candidates in mind, but some railbirds were left scratching their heads after seeing that the IRC draft congressional map made significant changes that directly affected a handful of incumbents and candidates.

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IRC votes to OK congressional draft map; Republicans object (access required)

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission today approved a congressional draft map that includes a competitive district in the middle of the Phoenix area, voting 3-1 over objections from the two Republican members. Independent Chairwoman Colleen Mathis and Democratic Commissioners Jose Herrera and Linda McNulty voted for the map, while Republican Commissioner Richard Stertz voted against it.

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Keep Arizona’s growing rural communities whole

For the past four months, the Independent Redistricting Commission has worked to balance the wants, needs and desires of the residents of Arizona. The problem is that Pinal County — Arizona’s fastest growing county — is being used as the bargaining chip to satisfy other constituencies.

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