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Pringle to co-chair state joint committee on reapportionment

An Alabama legislative district map.

State Representative Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, was elected Tuesday to serve as co-chairman of the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment.

The committee oversees the process of redrawing the boundaries of the 105 House districts and 35 Senate districts, as well as the state’s seven congressional districts and eight State Board of Education districts.

“I’m looking forward to laying the groundwork for redistricting that will take place following the 2020 census,” said Pringle. “There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us but I’m confident that we’ll be able to develop redistricting plans that are acceptable to everyone involved.”

The Reapportionment Committee, as it’s commonly referred to, is made up of six members. Three members are selected by the Speaker of the House to represent the House and three members are selected by the Lieutenant Governor to represent the Senate.

Rep. Pringle is the co-chairman from the House of Representatives.

Senator Jim McClendon, R-Springville, is the co-chairman from the state Senate. McClendon told the Alabama Political Reporter that he would have to be re-nominated to continue as co-chair for the next quadrennium.

Previously the co-Chairmen were Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, and Rep. Randy Davis, R-Daphne. Neither man is returning to the Alabama Legislature.

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Rep. Pringle was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2014 and previously served from 1994 until 2002.

Representative Pringle is a 1984 graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Communications. He is a licensed realtor with Southern Timberlands and is a licensed home building and general contractor. Additionally, he is a certified control burn specialist.

Senator McClendon was co-chairman of the Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment following the 2010 Census; but then he was a member of the House of Representatives.

There is speculation that Alabama will lose a congressional district following reapportionment. Deciding which Congress member will have their district cannibalized among the other six will be a very controversial decision for the committee to address in 2021. The state is hoping that everyone participates in the next census so that there is not an undercut.

Republicans hope to maintain control of the Alabama legislature in the November 6 general election in order to control how the legislature is redistricted and the state’s congressional districts are redrawn.

As a result of the Shelby County versus Eric Holder decision of the Supreme Court, this will be the first time in decades that the Committee on Reapportionment will not have to get pre-clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division for a full decennial redistricting. The state’s legislative districts were adjusted in 2017 after the Black Legislative Caucus and Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) challenged the 2012 redistricting in federal court, even though the 2012 redistricting had received DOJ preclearance.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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