Black lawmakers pledge to fight on redistricting

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The outgoing head of the National Black Conference of State Legislators says redistricting will be a “major, major issue” after the midterm elections in which Republicans made big gains.

by Shannon McCaffrey

ATLANTA (AP) — The outgoing head of the National Black Conference of State Legislators says redistricting will be a "major, major issue" after the midterm elections in which Republicans made big gains.

State Rep. Calvin Smyre, a Democrat from Columbus, said Wednesday that while the GOP picked up hundreds of seats in statehouses — where district lines will be redrawn — population growth is expected to be greatest among minority groups, which tend to vote Democratic.

He said the organization of black lawmakers would work this year to make sure African-Americans are not diluted in the redistricting process, which will take place after new census numbers are released.

Smyre was speaking in Atlanta at the kickoff the 34th annual conference of black state legislators.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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