The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

May 18, 2011

Area legislators speak about state redistricting

ENID — Area state representatives and senators seemed happy with their new legislative districts after final passage of redistricting legislation.

State Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, said most of the population gain in his district, District 40, is on Cleveland, Oakwood and Quail Road, across from Chisholm High School. He also gained population in a four-square-mile block north of Heritage Hills and north of Willow West. There also was some population growth in the area of Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid and near U.S. 81. There also was growth in the area of Golden Oaks on North Oakwood.

“I’m happy with the new district. I didn’t have to change a whole lot, only grew a few miles,” Jackson said.

He takes in 900 new people, and Jackson said it fits well in his district, which is one of the most compact in the state. The district encompasses mainly an area from Carrier Road south to Rupe and from Oakwood east to 30th.

“It’s a very good district. Most of the new people are on the north side and some on the south side,” Jackson said.

State Rep. John Enns, who represents District 41, was hospitalized during much of the redistricting work and said he wished his district had come further north. District 41 includes much of western and southern Garfield County and extends through the eastern part of Kingfisher County. It also includes small parts of Canadian and Oklahoma counties.

However, Enns lost the Yukon area he has represented since his election. The new district still includes the Piedmont area, one of the largest population bases in the district, although Enid remains the largest.

“It’s still a strong Republican area, although maybe not quite as strong,” he said.

Legislators tried to reach a total population of about 37,000 per House district this year. Enns said he basically is happy with his district.

“Since I wasn’t around ... I would rather have come up further north but there there’s not the population growth,” Enns said.

House Majority Leader Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, was chairman of the House Redistricting Committee. He was in session Wednesday and could not be contacted. He represents District 38, which includes all of Grant County and the eastern part of Garfield County.

State Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, represents District 19. His area no longer includes parts of Kingfisher and Logan counties. The new district includes all of Garfield, Grant and Alfalfa counties and part of Kay County.

“I’ve always enjoyed representing Kingfisher and Logan counties in the past. This has always been a Republican population center and still is a population center,” he said.

Anderson said he looks forward to representing some of the smaller towns in the area. Anderson took some of the area formerly represented by state Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, who is term limited and cannot seek re-election. District 20, the seat Myers held has been radically changed. It no longer includes Ponca City and now includes parts of Kingfisher and Logan counties and all of Noble and Pawnee counties.

Anderson picked up a corner of Kay County, including Blackwell.

“I’m excited because this is an area I know very well and know many people in these communities, and I look forward to representing these counties,” he said.

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