Redistricting panel picks 9th member, hopes to meet deadline

October 20, 2021 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The panel of state lawmakers charged with redrawing Connecticut’s legislative and congressional district lines has once again chosen a former state senator who also served as a state auditor to be its ninth, tie-breaking member.

Kevin Johnston of Pomfret, who had the same role during the 2011 redistricting process, was chosen unanimously Monday by the Reapportionment Commission. Unlike in 2011, the members said they hope to meet their Nov. 30 deadline to finish redrawing the lines, despite what’s been a truncated process due to the late release of U.S. Census data during the pandemic.

“We have quite a bit of work to do. But I think working with goodwill we can get there,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, D-New Haven.

In 2011, lawmakers couldn’t reach agreement on the congressional district boundaries and the Connecticut Supreme Court ultimately named a special master to redraw the lines. Nathaniel Persily, a political science professor at Columbia University, submitted his revised plan in early 2012.

Johnston served 18 years as a state auditor and 20 years in the General Assembly representing northeastern Connecticut.