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Rep. Lightbody votes in opposition to Republican gerrymandered 13-2 congressional map, urges veto from the governor

November 19, 2021
Mary Lightbody News

Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) issued a statement after Republicans passed a partisan, four-year congressional district map that unduly favors GOP candidates 13-2. 

“I have long thought that district lines should not favor one party over another.  We have a constitutional obligation to represent all the people of the great state of Ohio, not just those who have voted for us,” said Rep. Lightbody. “To best represent my constituents, I was looking for a map that gave more weight to total number of residents, community lines, natural boundaries, and the constitutional requirements added through the 2018 ballot initiative. In the GOP map, the northeast corner of Franklin County is placed at the very eastern edge of a district which stretches almost 100 miles southwest to Clinton County. This will deprive residents on both edges of the district the thoughtful representation that they deserve.

             

“I greatly appreciate the 75% of Ohioans who voted overwhelmingly to implement a process to draw districts that better reflect the communities of our state. Our constituents confirmed their enthusiasm for and engagement with this new process through their active participation in providing testimony, proposing maps, watching and attending redistricting meetings, and contacting their representatives, including me. I am disappointed the Ohio House has not lived up to our constitutional obligation to draw and pass fair maps.”

Democrats offered a compromise set of district lines on the House floor Thursday, which they say better align with the fair district reforms voters passed in 2018. The Democratic amendment mirrored their compromise map, HB 483, and would have limited unwarranted splits in Ohio’s largest counties, kept more communities together, and better reflected the preferences of Ohio voters. The map also created three minority opportunity districts. Republicans rejected the good faith amendment.

Following the vote, Rep. Lightbody sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine urging a veto of the Republicans’ partisan 13-2 map, which says the map “violates the Ohio Constitution and ignores the will of the people of Ohio who demanded fair districts that follow explicit, strict anti-gerrymandering requirements.”