REDISTRICTING SQUABBLES OR WHO'S ON FIRST - Winners And Losers, Complaints In The Land Of Oz

(09/25/2001)

by Bob Weaver

Weaving through the political intricacies of redistricting can be hazardous to reason and understanding. The West Virginia Legislature has done their decade deed based on the 2000 census, not without a lot of fighting. Most conflict was peculiar to the Land of Oz, better known as Kanawha County.

They just couldn't seem to abide by the law. But what else is new? The county lost population, enough to loose about two delegates, I understand. Claiming exception because of who they are, they fought and squabbled, screamed and yelled. They did loose one delegate.

Calhoun's delegate Bill Stemple got adjusted. He lost four precincts in Clay that went south to Fayette County, but still has about half of the county. He then picked up most of Gilmer County (he already had a small slice). He has all of Gilmer except three precincts, Sand Fork, Glenville and Cedarville.

Del. Stemple feels this will not hurt his political life. In fact, he says, it may be improved. "Most of the people in Gilmer County know I will represent them fairly," he said.

Sen. Donna Boley, a frequent visitor to Calhoun, is no longer the county's representative. Those honors go to Senators Larry Edgell of New Martinsville and Jeff Kessler of Glendale, Ohio County. Sen. Frank Deem no longer represents the area, but then he never did. He has often been quoted saying Calhoun was at the bottom of his mind.

Congressman Shelly Moore Capito will continue to serve Sunny Cal.

It's a long time to 2010.


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