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East Mississippi to feel sting of lost congressional seat

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
March 13, 2001
Rapid growth in north and south Mississippi may cause the loss of a congressional district to hit hardest in east Mississippi, state Rep. Charles Young Sr. said Monday.
Young is a member of the legislative committee that will propose new boundaries for congressional districts reducing Mississippi's seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from five to four, and changing the makeup of the 174-seat state Legislature. Census data will also be used to redraw local ward boundaries.
East Mississippi did not share in the explosive rates of growth experienced over the last decade in north Mississippi counties and huge population increases spurred by a booming casino industry along the Coast.
Initial census data released in December showed although the state had healthy growth in population, it was not enough to retain all five congressional seats.
In January, Young, D-Meridian, and Sen. Terry Burton, D-Newton, were named to a special committee charged with evaluating census data and redrawing political lines.
Young said the 24-member committee will meet after more detailed census data becomes available.
Young said once redistricting is complete it is likely the congressional district that includes Lauderdale County will have significantly increased in size. Currently, the 3rd Congressional District covers all or parts of 19 counties.
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., who represents the district, said recently the district could easily swell to include parts of more than 25 counties.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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