Race fades as redistricting issue

State Rep. Ed Blackmon Jr. cried when the House redistricting plan made it out of committee last week.

He wasn’t upset by the changes in his district.

He was elated that for the first time in the decades he’s been involved in the process, lawmakers weren’t debating race and Blackmon didn’t have to defend minority voting rights.

“We have come a long, long way,” said Blackmon, who was first elected to the House in 1979. “I’m just as proud as I can be to say we’re fighting about everything but race.”

In years past, Mississippi’s redistricting fight has become mired in debates over minority representation.

Clarion Ledger
3/6/11