Redistricting plan could split Adams County
November 24, 2021
RITZVILLE – Adams and Franklin counties could be dived between two different legislative districts if the state Supreme Court approves a new redistricting map previously supported by a state commission.
Last week, the state Redistricting Commission failed to reach an agreement on a plan to create new, equal-population legislative and congressional districts by the Nov. 15 deadline. As a result, state law now gives authority over redistricting to the high court in Olympia.
The previously proposed map would add Lincoln and Columbia counties to the district while splitting Adams and Franklin counties.
The map shows Othello and western Adams County, and Pasco and western Franklin County would move out of the 9th Legislative District and into the 15th Legislative District.
"It's worth pointing out that the 9th District would look quite a bit different under the new map approved by the commission," Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville said. "The new 9th District would add Lincoln and Columbia counties."
Schoesler, who represents the district, said he would be pleased to also represent Lincoln and Columbia counties.
"My mother's side of the family is from Lincoln County, my great-grandfather homesteaded a farm there and I own farmland in that county now," he said. "So, I'm pleased that Lincoln County might join the 9th.
"Columbia County was part of the 9th before redistricting changed legislative district borders in 1992, so this would not be the first time that Columbia County would be in the 9th."
Should those counties be added, Adams and Franklin counties would be split.
Pasco Mayor Pro Tempore Blanche Barajas previously advocated for moving her city out of the 9th Legislative District and into a district with Richland and Kennewick.
"Our legislators live an hour away," she said of Sen. Mark Schoessler, R-Ritzville, and Reps. Joe Schmick of Colfax and Mary Dye of Pomeroy.
Reps. Schmick and Dye represent the district in the state House of Representatives.
Schoesler said he does not support splitting the counties.
"I want everyone to know that I did not request that these two communities be removed," he said. "I've enjoyed working with people in Othello and Pasco and would regret no longer serving them."
The district currently includes Adams, Asotin, Franklin, Garfield, Whitman, and southern Spokane Counties.