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Houston County could get 2 U.S. representatives in redistricting process

All four districts in Central Georgia would see changes, including the northern tip of Houston County.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Part of Houston County may soon move to a new House district with a new congressman.

State Republicans released the first look of the possible new U.S. House districts in Georgia on Monday.  

All four districts in Central Georgia would see changes, including the northern tip of Houston County.

Folks that live in the Dunbar community and the Houston Lake Road area are currently represented by Congressman Austin Scott, a Republican from the Tifton area.

According to the first draft of the state's Congressional map, they could shift into District 2. That seat is held by Sanford Bishop, a Columbus Democrat. 

But why?

Right now, state lawmakers are redrawing the lines of every state and federal election district using the latest 2020 census numbers to make each district roughly the same size.

Based on those numbers, Bishop's district needs about 92,000 more people, which is why lawmakers are turning to booming Houston County to add to the district's population.

"Northern Houston County is an area that I'm sure that Congressman Bishop would like to have in his district. I think parts of it would favor his reelection," said State Representative Robert Dickey. 

Parts of north Houston have swayed blue, but this particular part of the county, which stretches from parts of Centerville and northern Warner Robins, tend to lean right in the 2020 election.

Willie Talton, who used to serve in the state House, says he doesn't want to see the change and says he hopes Austin Scott can continue to represent his neighborhood as he has for the past 10 years.  

Talton said, "He's the type of congressman you can approach and he will help you any way he can, no matter what party is what."

Anthony Davis says he doesn't think the change would have much of an impact. 

"The things you're concerned with day-to-day as far as the as the quality of schools, police, and fire department, things of that nature, I don't think it will make a difference there. I think both gentlemen will work hard to make sure we have adequate school systems, we have adequate protection, the streets and roads are taken care of," Davis said.

Rep. Dickey says there are pros to having the county split between two congressional districts. 

"Congressman Bishop has been very supportive of agriculture in Georgia and Houston County. It's a strong ag county, and he's always been very supportive of the military with Warner Robins there, but I think having two congressmen in the county is not all bad," Dickey said.  

This is just a proposed change at this point, and more maps of the possible redistricting are expected to be released over the coming weeks. 

Lawmakers still have to meet to make a final decision next month. 

Legislators are set to meet for a special session on November 3 for the once-in-a-decade redistricting process.