Georgia Republicans release new congressional map, Democrats 'disappointed'

A newly-released map of Georgia's proposed congressional districts would give Republicans the advantage in nine of the state's 14 seats.  

The chairs of the House and Senate redistricting committees published the map Thursday morning.  

"We think this map fairly represents all Georgians and is a map that we can be proud of.  It is not gerrymandered, but respects the principles that we adopted that is everyone on this committee agreed to at the beginning of this process," said state Sen. John F. Kennedy, R-Macon, who serves as chair of the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee.  

Democrats, however, disagreed with that assessment.

"Georgia's a 50/50 state when you talk about people of color," said House Minority Leader James Beverly, D-Macon.  "When you look at minority opportunity districts, the map that it appears that the Republicans are going to push doesn't represent Georgia fairly.  So, we'll look at the statistical analysis and see where it is, but on the face of it, it's very disappointing."

The biggest changes in metro Atlanta came in Districts 6 and 7, which are currently represented by Democrats Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux.

District 7 would be solidly Democrat, including parts of southern Gwinnett County and Johns Creek in Fulton County. On the other hand, District 6 would stretch into Forsyth County, Dawson County and part of Cherokee County to become Republican.  

"Republicans released another draft map to draw me out of congress. This only strengthens my resolve to stay in Congress," Rep. McBath tweeted Thursday.

The Senate committee will hold another hearing on the proposed map Thursday, while the House has scheduled hearings for Thursday and Friday.  

Fair Fight PAC Senior Advisor Lauren Groh-Wargo released the following statement:

"Georgia Republicans’ latest congressional gerrymander turns a competitive suburban district into a safe Republican one in a transparent ploy to remove a Black woman and fighter for all of the 6th congressional district — regardless of race or party — from Congress simply because Republicans know they can no longer compete in Atlanta's suburbs. Rather than trying to win free and fair elections or learn the needs of Georgia’s changing electorate, Republicans are using their old playbook of voter suppression and gerrymandered districts to silence Georgia voters. Fair Fight will continue to advocate for desperately needed federal legislation to ban partisan gerrymandering efforts like this that disenfranchise voters across the political spectrum."