Congressional redistricting plan wins initial approval from Oklahoma House committee

The Oklahoma House of Representatives Redistricting Committee approved a proposal Thursday that calls for minor changes to the state's five congressional district
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: April 15, 2011
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• The 5th Congressional District gained a small area of Oklahoma County that is now in the 4th Congressional District.

• The 2nd Congressional District gained all of Marshall County, which is now in the 4th Congressional District, and a portion of Rogers County that is now in the 1st Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, the state's only Democratic congressman, who was elected from the 2nd Congressional District, said the redistricting process has been fair and without controversy.

The state's congressional delegation, led by U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and GOP legislative leaders are working in a bipartisan way, said Boren, D-Muskogee.

“I am extremely excited about the possibility of representing Marshall County in Congress,” Boren said. “I spent quite a bit of my early childhood on Lake Texoma. Also, my grandmother, Oteka, was born in Lebanon, and my late mother, Janna, grew up in Madill. My uncle, Dan Little, currently lives in Marshall County along with several other relatives.”

The population numbers in four of the five districts are exactly the same. One district has one more person, said state Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, chairman of the Redistricting Committee.

The 5th Congressional District, which includes Oklahoma City, has 750,271 residents; the other four districts have 750,270.

“The congressional delegation did work on this and all are in agreement with it,” DeWitt said.

While the deadline is not until next year, the state's congressional delegation wanted legislators to get the redistricting legislation passed “because they want to be one of the first states to have theirs done,” he said.