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Rob Bishop abruptly quits Utah redistricting commission

October 26, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican, abruptly quit the state’s independent redistricting commission after criticizing it for favoring urban areas.

Bishop said Monday that the commission’s congressional map proposals favored Democrats. The commission will present its map proposals to the Legislature’s redistricting committee on Nov. 1.

“This is a metro-centric group,” Bishop said during the meeting. “When five of the seven are from the Wasatch Front... the majority are from Salt Lake County, we see things in a different way.”

House Speaker Brad Wilson, who appointed Bishop to the panel, said he shared Bishop’s frustrations with the commission and that he does not plan to appoint a replacement.

“His decision to step down at this point in the process is further evidence that the duly elected representatives of the people are best suited to redraw district boundaries, as the courts have repeatedly affirmed,” Wilson said in a statement.

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Better Boundaries, the group behind the 2018 ballot initiative that created the independent commission, said they were disappointed by Bishop’s resignation.

“Moving forward, we are encouraged by the work of the remaining six commissioners to suggest objective and qualified maps to the state legislative redistricting committee through this fair and transparent process,” said Better Boundaries Executive Director Katie Wright.