political landscape redrawn in Ohio | News, Sports, Jobs
All of Mahoning and Trumbull counties will be in the same congressional district, along with eight other counties, under a Republicans-drawn map – effective for the 2022 and 2024 elections – that received no Democratic backing.
The redistribution process saw Republicans creating not only new Congressional Districts, but also Ohio House and the State Senate.
Legislative maps of Congress and State are challenged in a number of Ohio Supreme Court lawsuits by various leftist groups who argue the lines have been gerrymandered to strongly favor Republicans in violation of the amendments to the charter massively approved by voters in 2015 and 2018.
The court could either accept the cards, and they would be in place for the next two elections in the even year – or reject them and demand that Republicans draw them again.
Under the new rules that went into effect with these maps, which are drawn after the census to reflect population trends, Democratic support was needed for them to be in effect for 10 years.
But the cards haven’t garnered even a single Democratic vote, so they’re in place for four years if the court upholds them.
The Congress card favors Republicans 12-3. They currently hold 12 of the 16 congressional districts. Ohio is losing a district because its population hasn’t grown as fast as the rest of the country.
The Ohio House card gives Republicans the advantage in 65 districts compared to Democrats 34. This is the current composition of the House.
The state Senate card also favors Republicans in 23 of 33 districts. Republicans currently hold 25 Senate seats.
The new lines are supposed to keep the districts compact and reflect partisan statewide electoral trends over the past decade, which favor Republicans 54% to 46% over Democrats.
The Congress map places all of Mahoning and Trumbull in the same district for the first time in decades.
The new 6th District, which is considered a safe Republican, would include all of Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Noble and Monroe and all of Washington County except four townships.
U.S. Representative Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, who represents a small section of Mahoning County, is seeking re-election next year in the new district. Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti, a Democrat, said this week he has decided not to challenge Johnson.
STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS
In Mahoning County, the lines for the State House have remained largely the same, with the exception of the 59th District, which first passed to Republicans in 2018 and turned redder with the addition of three townships of Columbiana County.
This new district is 58% Republican.
The 58th district has grown and remains a strong Democratic district. The district is 64% Democratic and includes Youngstown, Austintown, Struthers, Lowellville, Campbell and Coitsville.
The 33rd Senate District became more Republican with the addition of Carroll, a small but very red county. The Senate seat was first won in 2018 by a Republican, Michael Rulli of Salem, and includes all of Mahoning and Columbiana counties. He will now be 54% Republican.
There have been big changes in Trumbull County.
The current 63rd district was a Democrat, but was won in 2020 by Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta, and the current 64th district was also a Democrat.
Republicans have drawn new lines for the 64th, which is 54% Democrat and includes Warren, Girard, Niles, Hubbard, Liberty, McDonald, Weathersfield, Howland and Vienna.
The new 65th (replacing the current 63rd) is now 60% Republican and includes communities in Trumbull County that are not part of the new 64th as well as more than half of Portage County.
The map changed the seat of the 32nd District Senate from Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties to Trumbull and Portage Counties. The new district is 51 percent Republican.
But State Senator Sandra O’Brien, R-Lenox, who began serving a four-year term in January 2021 to represent him, will no longer live in the new district.
A sitting state senator cannot be impeached mid-term, so for two years O’Brien will represent two counties she does not live in unless she relocates.
If O’Brien is to run for Ashtabula in 2024, she’ll have to face her fellow Republican Senator Jerry C. Cirino. If she wants to run in District 32, she will need to establish her residency in Trumbull or Portage counties at least a year before the November 2024 election.