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January 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM

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Gorton, Huff are GOP picks for redistricting panel

Posted by Jim Brunner

Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton and former Gig Harbor state representative Tom Huff will represent Republicans on the Washington State Redistricting Commission, GOP leaders announced Tuesday.

The pair joins the previously announced Democratic picks: former Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis, and Dean Foster, a former chief clerk of the state house, who also served as chief of staff to Gov. Booth Gardner.

The picks confirm that Eastern Washington will have no voting representatives on the commission - all the members live in the Puget Sound area.

The four voting commissioners will spend most of the next year drawing up new congressional and legislative district boundaries to match new demographic information gathered by the 2010 census.The commissioners will pick afifth, nonvoting member to serve as chair.

Their task includes creation of a 10th U.S. House district that Washington gained thanks to population growth over the last decade. The first elections under the new political maps will occur in 2012.

Each political district must be drawn to be close to equal in population. That means some will shrink and others will grow as the new maps are drawn.

Early analysis shows the 8th Congressional District, represented by Republican Dave Reichert, will have to shrink the most in the redistricting process.

For more on how redistricting works, check the commission's web site.

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