Georgia has gained enough population in the past ten years to add a congressional seat. This means redrawing the Congressional district lines not only to balance population, but to also add another representative in Congress. Lowndes County has been split between the first and second districts, and all spring rumors of where we might end up were circulating. Eventually we saw a draft map that had Lowndes completely in the 8th District,
along with other counties along Interstate 75. That map made some sense south of Macon. Some communities of interest were preserved (most of the Lowndes-Valdosta MPO was in the same district) and the hospitality corridor of I-75 was in one district, along with the rural farms that surround it. Valdosta to Macon is easier to traverse than Valdosta to Savannah, or Valdosta to Columbus.
But then Congressman Jack Kingston stuck out his green tongue.
A squiggly little section, cutting through Echols and Clinch counties, reaching just to Moody Air Force Base was drawn into the 1st Congressional District. Moody AFB is the largest employer in Lowndes County. It does not make sense to split a community of interest from its largest employer. Many people who live in Lanier County work at Moody. It does not make sense to split Lanier County from Moody. Within Lowndes County, the Pine Grove voting precinct was split in half. So, people who live within just a few miles of Moody AFB will have different representation.
If Jack Kingston loves Moody Air Force Base so much, he should take the entire community of interest, including all of Lowndes, Lanier, and Berrien Counties. Splitting Moody from Lowndes County and the surrounding community of interest is not in the best interest of our community. Congressman Kingston needs to put his green tongue away. Lowndes County should not be split between two Congressional districts.