Louisiana's shrinking population almost certainly will cost the state one of its seven congressional seats in 2012, and state lawmakers already are maneuvering to make sure their population hubs don't lose their voices in Congress.
Northeastern Louisiana, for instance, once was lumped into a congressional district that included Shreveport, which meant that Ouachita Parish voters rarely saw retiring U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery, R-Shreveport.
"We don't want to be in a combined district with Shreveport, because we'll always be behind Shreveport in priority," said state Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe.
Monroe and Alexandria are the population hubs -- and thus the focus -- of U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander's 5th Congressional District.
"(McCrery) is a good congressman, but because the biggest population base was in Shreveport, he naturally spent most of his focus there," said Alexander, R-Quitman.
Preliminary 2010 Census figures released this week show that Louisiana's population fell by 1.3 percent from 2000 to 2008, which led the nation in population loss.
Louisiana's Legislature, beginning with the House and Senate Governmental Affairs committees, will determine the congressional district map following the 2010 Census.
Kostelka chairs the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which is a clear advantage to northeastern Louisiana.
"That's the reason I fought so hard for the chairmanship of that committee," Kostelka said. "My whole intention is to save our seat."
Another northeastern Louisiana lawmaker, state Rep. Rick Gallot, D-Grambling, is the chairman of the House Governmental Affairs Committee.
Gallot said it won't be easy keeping a northeastern Louisiana-based congressional district intact.
Complete article in The Town Talk
h/t to The Reduct Box