The Alaska Redistricting Board was able to agree by consensus on most of the political boundaries from Barrow to Hyder.
But when it came to Anchorage, the fireworks began. Board member Bethany Marcum and Board member Nicole Borromeo each had a version of where the political boundaries would be, and in the end Borromeo, working on behalf of Democrats, won the day.
By a vote of 3-2, the Borromeo Anchorage map was approved. Only Marcum and Board Chair John Binkley voted for the other map that would have slightly favored Republicans, while Board member Budd Simpson, a Republican, said the Borromeo Anchorage map was more compact and appropriate.
Many of the districts have new numbers, which will require politicos to relearn the districts. For instance, District 15, represented by Rep. David Nelson, is in an area of Anchorage that will known as District 21. The old District 21 is in West Anchorage.
Also, some incumbents would have to run against each other in the new districting plan:
Wasilla Republicans Rep. David Eastman and Rep. Christopher Kurka now live in the same district boundaries and would have to run against each other next year. That leaves Eastman’s old district without an incumbent lawmaker.
Chugiak-Eagle River, Republicans Rep. Ken McCarty and Rep. Kelly Merrick are in the same district. South Eagle River / Arctic Valley, where Merrick serves, does not have an incumbent lawmaker going into the next election.
Democrat Rep. Harriet Drummond of District 18, who represents midtown and Spenard, and Democrat Rep. Zack Fields of District 19, who now represents downtown Anchorage, will have to run against each other to maintain a seat in the House. District 18 will not have an incumbent.
District 17 Rep. Andy Josephson and District 23 Chris Tuck, have been wedged into a district. Both are Democrats.
Republican Rep. Sara Rasmussen and Democratic Rep. Matt Claman, have been pushed into a district that could give them both trouble in the next election.
Some of the geographic features of the new map include:
District 1 encompasses Ketchikan, Coffman Cove and Wrangell, but not Petersburg.
District 2 has Petersburg, Kake, Hoonah, Elfin Cove, Sitka, Tenakee, Angoon, Port Alexander, stretching from Hollis and Craig at the southern end, all the way north to Yakutat.
District 3 puts Skagway, Klukwan, and Haines into the northern Juneau-dominated district, as well as Gustavus. The district has almost all of the Mendenhall Valley and is now represented by Rep. Andi Story.
District 4 is the downtown Juneau, Douglas, and North Douglas District, kept relatively stable, but add the airport area. The district is represented by Rep. Sarah Hannan.
District 5 keeps Cordova with Kodiak, and also has Seward. It is now represented by Republican Rep. Louise Stutes.
District 6 has Seldovia, Halibut Cove, Homer, Anchor Point, Ninilchik, and Kalifornsky. That district is now represented in part by Rep. Sarah Vance, a Republican.
District 7 is Kenai-Soldotna.
District 8 is the Nikiski-Cooper Landing-Hope area of the Kenai Peninsula.
District 9 is now Girdwood-Whittier, also portions of south Anchorage as far north as South High School.
District 10 is west of Potter Marsh in the southern end of Anchorage, all the way to Dimond Blvd and as far east as the New Seward Highway.
District 11 encompasses Campbell Lake and Sand Lake in Anchorage, with a northern boundary of Strawberry Road and eastern boundary of Northwood St.
District 12 has the Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport surrounding neighborhoods, north to the Turnagain neighborhoods.
District 13 is much of what District 18 used to look like, encompassing Spenard, Rogers Park, and the Tudor area as far east as Lake Otis Parkway.
District 14 has Taku Campbell in the center of it. It stretches from International Blvd. and Tudor Road on the north, to Dimond Blvd. in the south, and east to New Seward Highway.
District 15 is the shape of South Dakota, a rectangle from Huffman Road in the south to Abbott Road in the north and west to New Seward Highway. It used to be called District 26.
District 16 is an East Anchorage district that starts at Service High School on Abbott Road in the southern end and goes north to Tudor Road. It’s mostly old District 25.
District 17 has the U-Med district, parts of Campbell Park, and parts of Russian Jack in East Anchorage.
District 18 is now the Muldoon, Scenic Foothills portion of East Anchorage. It features Cheney Lake and Nunaka Valley Park North.
District 19 has McPhee Ave. as its primary northern boundary and much of Mountain View, and goes east to Pine Street, while having a zig-zagging southern border that includes Reka Drive, 20th Avenue, and Northern Lights Blvd. It was mostly old District 19.
District 20 is still a downtown district, with West Anchorage High School, and east to Airport Heights Drive. It encompasses Alaska Regional Hospital and Merrill Field.
District 21 has Government Hill, JBER, and following the Glenn Highway, goes north as far as the Anchorage Landfill.
District 22 Chugiak and Eagle River, it includes the northern Glenn Highway in the Anchorage Municipality, and includes the north Anchorage Municipality boundary.
District 23 is a Northeast Anchorage District, from DeBarr Road on the south end to Glenn Highway on the north. It is Muldoon proper.
District 24 is much of southern Eagle River, with a lot of jagged boundaries.
District 25 has Fishhook, Sutton, Chickaloon, and Valdez. It is the Eastern Mat-Su plus Valdez.
District 26 is a jagged-edged Wasilla district that has Teeland Middle School, Colony High School, and Finger Lake in it.
District 27 is another jagged-edged district that has Wasilla in it, including East Fairview Loop Road, and the mouth of the Matanuska River. This is parts of old District 12 with addition of KGB Road.
District 28 has Palmer, Lazy Mountain, Butte, Knik, and north to the Matanuska River.
District 29 in Wasilla features the Curtis Menard Sports Center area, Meadow Lakes, Wasilla High School.
District 30 has Big Lake, Houston, Talkeetna, Denali Borugh, and as far north as Healy, Clear, and Anderson.
District 31 Fairbanks has Eielson, Farmers Loop, Pleasant Valley, Salcha, and Fox.
District 32 Fairbanks features the Fairbanks International Airport and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
District 33 Fairbanks is the urban Fairbanks area, as far north as Creamer’s Field.
District 34 is Fort Wainright and East Fairbanks, with part of Badger.
District 35 is the North Pole area, including part of Badger.
District 36-40 are the rural districts from the Canadian Border to the Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska.
Many tasks remain to be done prior to adoption of a Final Proclamation of Redistricting, due no later than November 10, 2021.
There may be lawsuits over the map; Valdez is likely to sue over its inclusion in District 25. They have already submitted a 300-page testimony document that is in opposition to be included in the Mat-Su.
The Board is scheduled to meet at 9 am at the Board offices, 3901 Old Seward Hwy., Ste 141 on Monday, Nov. 8. It will be working on pairing Senate districts to the House districts it voted on on Friday.