What will SC's new congressional district look like? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

What will SC's new congressional district look like?

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By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina's steady population growth over the past decade will give the Palmetto State an extra voice in Congress, but there's still a lot of work to do before we have any idea of what the state's new congressional districts will look like.

Over the last decade, the population of the Palmetto State has grown more than 15 percent. That means a need to re-draw the lines to add a seventh congressional district.

USC professor Mark Tompkins said the district is most likely to take in much of the Grand Strand and Pee Dee. "As many of us are noticing, it makes the rest of redistricting a little easier," said Tompkins. "We don't need to move other people dramatically if we put the new member up in the Grand Strand."

There's a lot of speculation, but no firm plan for the new district lines. Over the past couple of months, lawmakers have been holding public hearings around the state to find out what voters think about how the districts should be configured.

One of the latest meetings happened last week in Florence.

The Cook Political Report sees the state adding an eight-county Seventh District including Georgetown and Horry on the coast, stretching north to Florence and Darlington and up to Chesterfield and Marlboro counties.

Some minor changes would be in store for the third and fourth districts in the Upstate. The second district now held by Congressman Joe Wilson would be far more compact, while District One is concentrated in the Lowcountry.

The sixth district, controlled by Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn, sprawls across all or parts of 14 counties -- many predominantly African-American. "The phrase we use in this of course is packing, and Mr. Clyburn is getting a packed-in district of his constituents," said Tompkins.

Another take on the map from a conservative site called Red Racing Horses envisions a larger first and a smaller seventh district. The second and third would be narrow strips running down the western side of the state.

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