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Arkansas lawmakers eye competing US House redistricting maps

September 29, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers considered competing redistricting proposals that would divide the state’s most populous county between congressional seats on Wednesday.

The House and Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committees did not advance any proposals for redrawing districts as the Legislature reconvened to redraw the state’s four U.S. House boundaries. Both panels showed support for plans that would divide Pulaski County.

One bill pending before the House committee would split the county, which includes the Little Rock area, between the 1st and 2nd congressional districts. Another before the Senate panel would split the county between the 2nd and 4th districts.

Pulaski is currently part of the 2nd District, which Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to flip in recent elections. Republicans hold all four of the state’s congressional seats and majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.

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Proponents of splitting up Pulaski have said it makes sense given the county’s location in the state’s center and that it could prevent dividing up even more counties around the state. But Democrats in Pulaski County oppose the move, saying it would divide the community.

Arkansas’ current congressional map divides up five counties.