All of St. Clair County is expected be in the same congressional district in time for the 2012 elections, according to State Rep. Jim McClendon.
“It’s a lock,” he said last Friday after the House and Senate had approved the new district lines. McClendon, who serves as co-chairman of the 22-member legislative reapportionment committee, proposed the final measure to keep the county intact.
It passed by a 12-vote margin in the House and by one vote in the Senate. Pending Gov. Robert Bentley’s signature and approval by federal officials who will review the plan to determine that it won’t dilute minority voting strength, it will go into effect with the next congressional election.
McClendon’s plan moves all of the St. Clair into Alabama’s Third Congressional District, after several back-and-forth proposals had divided the county between at least two other districts.
“Never before have we been in position to do what is best for the county by keeping it whole,” he said. “These changes came about because of the explosive growth in St. Clair and Shelby Counties.”
McClendon said he opposed measures to keep St. Clair divided, as it is now between the Sixth and Fourth Districts.
“Sen. (Scott) Beason tried to push a plan though that would chop up St. Clair into three different congressional districts,” he said. “He’s my senator, and we agree on a lot, but this wasn’t something we agreed on. This was clear-cut slicing and dicing of our county, and that wasn’t going to happen if I had anything to do with it. St. Clair County wouldn’t be able to elect anybody, and that would have diluted our influence in Washington.”