MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Federal judges decided on a new Alabama Congressional map Thursday morning. This new map will create a majority black voting district in Alabama but split Mobile County into two separate districts.
District one will include everything south of I-10, and about 90% of the City of Mobile goes to district two.
Shalela Dowdy, a plaintiff in Allen v. Milligan, is happy with the new map although she was hoping for the first map choice.
“I am content with the third map,” Dowdy said.
But the split of Mobile has raised concerns from former Congress member Bradley Byrne.
“I think this is a crisis for this part of the state,” Byrne said.
Mobile will now be represented by two different people. There’s a possibility that those people will not be local to the county after the next election.
“It puts University of South Alabama, it puts Semmes, it puts Tillmans corner, it puts Chickasaw all in a district that’s dominated population wise by Montgomery County,” Byrne said.
However, according to Dowdy, separating the districts was the only way to obtain a second black district when looking at the population of each congressional district.
“Well, the whole county is 400,000 people, and every congressional district is 750,000 people,” Dowdy said.
According to the special master who created the map, a black preferred candidate would win 16 out of 17 times in district two.
This new map also puts district two congressman Barry Moore into district one where congressman Jerry Carl represents.
“So basically they cut a large chunk out of the north part of the county, which they targeted the black part of the population,” Carl said. “We have come a long way since the 60s, and I was here in the 60s. I can tell you, and I feel like we are going back now on decisions like this.”