Latino legislative districts begin to take shape as redistricting commissioners strike compromise

Raul Castro was the only Hispanic governor of Arizona.

By Jeremy Duda  | Arizona Mirror

Members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission will consider incorporating a proposal from a Latino political group that would create eight predominantly Hispanic districts into its legislative map. 

The Arizona Latino Coalition for Fair Redistricting submitted its proposed map to the commission before its meeting on Tuesday. 

Republican Commissioner David Mehl said he wants the AIRC to at least match the 2011 commission in drawing eight majority-minority districts to comply with the Voting Rights Act. The most recent draft map has eight districts where white people make up less than 50% of the voting age population, though one is marginal and could go over 50% based on small changes.

Mehl said the AIRC may be able to create another majority-minority district in the Tucson area, as well.

The Arizona Latino Coalition for Fair Redistricting’s map would give the state eight heavily Latino legislative districts, with a predominantly tribal ninth Voting Rights Act district in northern Arizona that takes in the Navajo Nation and numerous other tribes. 

However, only two of the eight districts proposed by the coalition are more than half Latino, mapping consultant Doug Johnson told the commission. The other six would still give Latino voters the opportunity to elect candidates of their preference, he said.

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