Shows believes state court remap will win approval

By By Fredie Carmichael/staff writer
February 24, 2002
Whatever happens this year with congressional redistricting in Mississippi, U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows believes a proposal backed by Democrats ultimately will win.
Shows, the 4th Congressional District Democrat, said he hopes to run this fall under a plan mapped by a state court. If not, he said, he would likely run under it in 2004.
The congressman told The Meridian Star editorial board last week that he opposes a redistricting plan drawn by federal judges this month. That plan, he said, favors Republicans.
Complicated issue
Mississippi officials have been trying to redraw congressional districts since last year. Mississippi will lose one of its five districts because the state grew at a slower rate than others.
Legislators tried and failed to redraw congressional districts in a November special session.
The case then went to trial in Hinds County Chancery Court. Judge Particia Wise drew her own redistricting plan in December, which opponents said included a new central district that favors Democrats.
In January, three federal judges held their own trial and then redrew districts. Opponents, though, said that plan includes a new central district that favors Republicans.
In both plans, the central district would pit Shows against Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering who now represents the 3rd Congressional District, including Lauderdale County.
Deadline looms
If the U.S. Justice Department doesn't approve Wise's redistricting proposal on Monday, then the three federal judges said their redistricting plan will be used in this fall's elections.
Candidates must qualify to run by March 1. The general election is set for Nov. 5.
Shows won the 4th District seat after serving three terms in the Mississippi Senate and 10 years on the state Transportation Commission. He remains hopeful that Justice will approve Wise's redistricting plan.
If not, he said, he still believes he could defeat Pickering running in a district approved by the federal judges.