New House, Senate districts divide Vinton County
By Paul McManis
Commoner Journal staff writer
McARTHUR — Vinton County voters will find themselves under split representation in the Ohio House and Senate at the end of the 2012 election season after new district mapping will divide the county for the first time in at least 40 years.
Every 10 years, the Ohio Apportionment Board alters legislative boundaries to reflect population shifts after the census.
On Sept. 28, the board voted 4-1 to approve a map that will divide Vinton County vertically into different House and Senate districts.
Residents who live in the western portion of the county will see no change in their House and Senate representation, as both State Rep. John Carey (R- Wellston) and State Sen. David T. Daniels (R- Greenfield) will continue to represent that portion of the county.
The new maps will put Vinton County into Ohio House Districts 93 and 94.
Carey currently represents District 87 in the House of Representatives but his seat is expected to later represent the House’s 93rd District. Carey could not be reached for comment.
The district’s lines will reach into four counties, including Jackson and Gallia, as well as portions of Lawrence and Vinton.
In Vinton County, those who fall inside the District 93 lines include Eagle Twp., Elk Twp., Harrison Twp., Jackson Twp., village of McArthur, Richland Twp. and Swan Twp.
The eastern portion of Vinton County will come under new representation in the House as it enters House District 94.
District 94 will reach into four counties including Athens, Meigs and portions of Washington and Vinton counties.
In Vinton County, Brown Twp., Clinton Twp., village of Hamden, Knox Twp., Madison Twp., Vinton Twp., Wilkesville Twp., village of Wilkesville and village of Zaleski will all be included in the district.
That district will be represented by the seat that is currently held by Debbie Phillips (D- Athens), who currently represents House District 92.
Phillips said that although the changes will divide the lines drawn on the county, her office will work hard to see that the transition goes as smoothly as possible for the residents of the area.
“One of the things I’m concerned about is making sure people know who to call,” Phillips said. “I’ll do everything I can to make sure if anyone has an issue that the right person is on top of that.”
She said residents can take comfort in knowing that the district she currently represents is very similar to the one Carey represents. She said her office has worked well with Carey in the past and plans to continue to do so moving forward.
“I have worked well with John Carey on a number of issues. Our current districts have a lot of similarities,” Phillips said.
Along the same lines, Vinton County’s residents will see a change in representation at the Senatorial level.
While those along the western portion of the County will see continued representation from the seat that is currently held by Daniels in Ohio Senate’s 17th District, the eastern portion will be shifted into District 30, which is currently represented by Sen. Jason Wilson (D- Columbiana).
Neither Daniels nor Wilson could be reached for comment.
District 17 will reach into 10 counties including Fayette, Clinton, Highland, Ross, Pike, Jackson and Gallia counties as well as portions of Pickaway, Lawrence and Vinton.
Eagle Twp., Elk Twp., Harrison Twp., Jackson Twp., village of McArthur, Richland Twp. and Swan Twp. will all remain in District 17.
District 30 will also have a 10-county reach and will include Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Noble, Monroe, Washington, Athens, Meigs and the eastern portion of Vinton County.
The portion of Vinton County that will become a part of District 30 includes Brown Twp., Clinton Twp., village of Hamden, Knox Twp., Madison Twp., Vinton Twp., Wilkesville Twp., village of Wilkesville and village of Zaleski.
The Ohio Apportionment Board consists of four Republicans – Gov. John Kasich, Senate President Tom Nichaus, Auditor Dave Yost and Secretary of State Jon Husted – and one Democrat, House Minority Leader Armond Budish.
The Final Ohio Apportionment Plan was amended, adopted and engrossed on Sept. 30, 2011.