Revised redistricting proposal moves ahead

Last modified: Thursday, February 02, 2012
The Senate passed an amended redistricting plan yesterday after lawmakers heard complaints about splitting Holderness and Plymouth into separate districts.

Putting the neighboring Grafton County towns in the same district had a small domino effect on the 10-year plan crafted in recent months by the Republican majority. In order to keep populations about the same for each of the state's 24 Senate districts, several other towns had to be moved into new districts.

The changes include moving Loudon into District 17, a grouping east of Concord represented by Republican Jack Barnes. Barnstead is moved out of District 17 and into District 6, represented by Republican Sen. Fenton Groen from Gilmanton to Rochester.

Wilmot moves with Holderness into District 2, represented by Republican Jeannie Forrester. Andover and Salisbury replace Loudon in District 7, which runs from Webster to Laconia. District 7 is currently represented by Republican Andy Sanborn, though his residence in Henniker would no longer be included in the new district.

The Senate plan, which is intended to reflect population shifts from the 2010 Census, passed on a party-line vote. Even with yesterday's changes, Sen. Sylvia Larsen, a Concord Democrat, said the proposal seeks to protect Republican districts in hopes of holding on to a 19-5 majority. Larsen, who loses Pembroke and picks up Henniker under the new plan, said it creates 'Democratic ghettos.'

(Matthew Spolar can be reached at 369-3309 or mspolar@cmonitor.com.)