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Redistricting commission up against own deadline

Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission Chair Colleen Coyle Mathis, left, and Vice Chair Scott Day Freeman laugh during discussions on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011, in Phoenix. The commission has started considering possible changes to its draft maps of new congressional and legislative districts but hasn?t committed itself on what the final versions will look like. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The state’s independent redistricting commission is up against a deadline to finish its work on new district maps before Christmas.

The five-member commission meets in Tempe on Monday as it tries to strike a deal on new congressional districts among its five members.

A compromise offered by Republican Rick Stertz includes a new competitive district in the Phoenix area and a Republican proposal to have a Tucson-centered district extended into southern Pinal County.

But his proposal is meeting opposition from fellow Republican Scott Freeman. He says the commission should just apply constitutional mapping criteria, and he called the Phoenix-area competitive district contrived.

Democrat Linda McNulty said having only one competitive district in the Phoenix area was a compromise.

Independent Colleen Mathis has suggested merging parts of the two proposals.

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