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State redistricting puts all of Port Orchard in 26th District
McCormick Woods residents will be represented by the same state legislators as the rest of Port Orchard as a result of the state’s redistricting process.
The Washington State Redistricting Commission completed a plan Sunday night that includes moving McCormick Woods into the 26th Legislative District. The district, which starts in Bremerton and runs south to the Narrows Bridge, will now include all of South Kitsap. Previously, McCormick Woods had been a part of the 35th District.
The shifting of McCormick Woods was one of numerous changes made by the four-person commission in the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years.
East Bremerton was moved to the 23rd District that includes Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island.
A new 10th Congressional District situated around Olympia made for the biggest change on district maps. All of Kitsap County — parts of which were included in the 1st and 6th congressional districts before — will now be in the 6th District represented by Norm Dicks, D-Belfair.
Amy Miller said the redistricting of McCormick Woods, where she lives, makes for a better fit.
“I’m excited about the move because it furthers McCormick Woods with the rest of Port Orchard,” Miller said, noting that before she had to drive to Shelton to attend legislative meetings. “Our district meeting will be at the Givens Community Center like the rest of the city.”
Miller, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Port Orchard City Council in November, is excited to work with the district legislators — Sen. Derek Kilmer and Rep. Larry Seaquist, both Democrats, and Republican Rep. Jan Angel.
“Our district representatives are real active,” Miller said. “They’ll reach out to McCormick Woods.”
Angel, a Port Orchard resident and former Kitsap County commissioner, said was pleased with the addition of McCormick Woods to the 26th, since it was annexed into the city.
“I’ve never felt that a city should be split apart into different legislative districts," she said. "You want to keep a city intact.”
Angel said when she ran for her 26th District seat in 2009, some McCormick Woods residents who had voted for her in the county commissioner election called asking why her name wasn't on their ballots.
"I told them they were in the 35th District, rather than the 26th," she said.
Seaquist also welcomed the addition of the South Kitsap community. He said he’s already been driving around McCormick Woods to familiarize himself with the area.
“I’m delighted,” he said. “Since it’s all a part of Port Orchard, it makes sense from a representation point of view.”
The addition of the nearly 3,000 residents to the 26th, he said, won’t have a major impact on elections. In 2010, Seaquist beat Republican candidate Doug Richards by 2,400 votes.
“We are a swing district all the way through. Even steven,” he said. “You’re still going to have to work for every vote.”
Richards, who is running for the 26th District seat again in the 2012 election, said the addition of McCormick Woods could be helpful. Like others, he thought it was off-kilter to separate Port Orchard in two different legislative districts.
“We are committed to the community to run again,” Richards said. “And I’m glad to see McCormick Woods in the 26th district.”