FLORENCE, Wis. - Florence County will change congressional districts for the 2012 election, as well as its state assembly district.
Under the new boundaries, Florence County moves from the 8th Congressional District - now represented by U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-De Pere - to the 7th, home to U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston.
The county is also moving from Wisconsin's 36th Assembly District - now served by State Rep. Jeffrey Mursau, R-Crivitz - to the 34th, where State Rep. Dan Meyer, R-Eagle River, is not seeking re-election.
A map shows Wisconsin’s new congressional boundaries under a redistricting plan signed into law last year by Gov. Scott Walker. Florence County is moving from the 8th Congressional District to the 7th.
Northern Marinette County is unaffected, and will remain in both the 8th Congressional District and the 36th Assembly District.
The redistricting plan was signed into law last year by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Several groups filed suit against the new maps, but a federal court has affirmed the validity of all but two new district boundaries, both of them in Milwaukee.
Across the nation, states must redraw election boundaries every 10 years to account for population shifts.
Along with Florence County, both Forest and Vilas counties will move from the 8th Congressional District to the 7th. Also, all of Oneida and Langlade counties will be in the 7th District. Formerly, those counties were split between the 7th and the 8th.
To the south, the new map moves Calumet County and a portion of Winnebago County from the 6th District into the 8th.
Meanwhile, Portage County (including the city of Stevens Point) and eastern Wood County (including the city of Wisconsin Rapids) will move from the 7th District into the 3rd. In far western Wisconsin, St. Croix County moves from the 3rd to the 7th.
Based on recent voting trends, the moves will make the 7th District more Republican. The 3rd District, which is served by U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-LaCrosse, will be more Democratic.
The political impact on the 8th District may be negligible. "It appears that the changes created by redistricting are unlikely to have a significant impact on the partisan composition of the 8th Congressional District," said Charles Jacobs, an assistant professor of political science at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.
Under the new map, the 34th Assembly District will include all of Florence County, nearly all of Vilas County, northern Forest County and the majority of Oneida County, including the city of Rhinelander.
The redrawn 36th Assembly District includes the southern half of Forest County, eastern Langlade County, Menominee County, the western half of Oconto County and the bulk of Marinette County north of Marinette.
The 12th Senate District will continue to be comprised of the 34th, 35th and 36th Assembly Districts. (The 35th District includes Lincoln County and portions of Oneida, Marathon, Langlade and Shawano counties.)
The 12 Senate District is represented by State Sen. Jim Holperin, D-Conover, who is not seeking re-election.
The filing deadline is June 1 for the Aug. 14 primary election.
Jim Anderson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.