Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: Ellington pleased with redistricting
|Ellington pleased with redistricting|
Rep. Noble Ellington says he's satisfied with the changes made to his state House district in the Legislature's special session on redistricting.
The special session got under way March 20 and must adjourn for good Wednesday (today).
Under a legislative redistricting plan approved by the House and Senate, Ellington will give up minority precincts in Catahoula Parish and gain mostly white constituents in LaSalle Parish.
Ellington, of Winnsboro, represents District 20 in the House.
Currently, the racial make-up of District 20 is about 70 percent white and 29 percent black, with other minorities making up about one percent of the population. Ellington's new constituency will be about 78 percent white and 21 percent black.
District 20 is comprised of Franklin, Catahoula and Caldwell parishes and two precincts in Tensas Parish.
Rep. Andy Anders, D-Clayton, will gain the part of Catahoula Parish that Ellington gave up in redistricting.
The precincts Ellington picked up in LaSalle Parish came at the expense of Rep. Billy Chandler of Dry Prong. Chandler is a Democrat.
"I'm happy with the way it turned out," said Ellington, who switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in December.
"Picking up Jena is a big deal to me, personally," Ellington said. "I had the opportunity to represent Jena when I was in the Senate and they seemed to like me a lot."
Ellington served in the state Senate from 1996 to 2008. Prior to his service in the Senate, Ellington represented District 20 in the House from 1988-1996.
Ellington was elected to his old House seat in 2007 when term limits forced him to give up his Senate seat.
Meanwhile, Sen. Neil Riser says he's disappointed a congressional redistricting plan he sponsored would not be approved by the Legislature.
"I never gave up," said Riser, R-Columbia.
"The Senate and House failed to work by sending us home on (last) Thursday and not convening until Monday," Riser said. "I told them that I would work 24 hours a day with a one-second adjournment, but I don't think they have the work ethic that I have."
The bill crafted by Riser included two congressional districts based in north Louisiana running vertically through out much of the state.
It preserved the 4th District and 5th District of Louisiana in the U.S. House of Representatives as they are today with some changes made to each district to account for population losses in northern Louisiana over the past 10 years.
Gov. Bobby Jindal supported Riser's congressional redistricting proposal.
Jindal says he will veto any congressional redistricting plan that does not included two congressional districts based in northern Louisiana running vertically.
Over the weekend, five members of the state's congressional delegation – U.S. Reps. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman; Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia; John Fleming, R-Minden; Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge; and Steve Scalise, R-Metairie; --asked Jindal to help persuade the Legislature to put off drawing new congressional districts until next year.
As of noon Tuesday, the Legislature was debating congressional redistricting.
Any legislative or congressional redistricting plan passed by the Legislature must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure minority voters were not disenfranchised in the redistricting process.
For the full story, subscribe to the The Franklin Sun's NEW E-Edition!