Dennis Kucinich sent out a fairly frantic email to supporters, warning that his Congressional district could be eliminated for the 2012 election after a round of redistricting in Ohio.
Due to the new census figures, Ohio will lose two seats in Congress. The Ohio Legislature (Republican) will redraw the map with 16 instead of 18 districts for the 2012 Election. Speculation nationally, and more importantly, in Ohio is that my district may be eliminated, absorbed into parts of other districts. Keep in mind, given the early Ohio primary, the filing deadline could be only a year away [...]
I will not wait until a new Ohio map is produced to begin this crucial discussion of the consequences of congressional redistricting. I will not wait until the Ohio Legislature produces a new map to start thinking of the options. The question will not be: Who is my opponent? The question will be: Where is my district? Seriously.
We are going to have to prepare for a different kind of election, possibly in a different place because my district may be eliminated. We are going to have to organize in a different way, now. The question will remain: Where?
He seeks advice from supporters, and he’ll probably need some. As Kucinich notes, Ohio will lose two districts in 2012. Republicans just won the Governor’s race and the legislature in 2010, and will therefore have unfettered control over redistricting. The three-member panel that will draw the new maps consists of the Governor, Secretary of State and the state auditor, all of whom are Republicans.
Right now, Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Congressional delegation 13-5 (after flipping 5 seats in 2010), and many of those new members will need job security with a new map that maximizes their support. It’s just a fact that Cleveland, where Kucinich represents, has lost a lot of population and probably can no longer support two Congressional districts. Kucinich could run in the one Cleveland seat, but he would have to defeat Rep. Marcia Fudge, an African-American whose constituents are majority black.
That’s assuming that there will be one centralized Cleveland seat. There could just as easily be a split of Cleveland into multiple seats extending into the suburbs, to dilute the Democratic strength of Cuyahoga County. It would be anyone’s guess where Kucinich would run, in that instance.