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Sununu's congressional redistricting map gets a hearing, but scant consideration

NHPR file

Gov. Chris Sununu’s proposed map for New Hampshire’s two Congressional districts received a public airing, but scant support, during its public hearing before the House’s Redistricting Committee Friday.

“I believe we can do better,” House Redistricting Committee chair Barbara Griffin told colleagues while presenting Sununu’s map.

Griffin presented Sununu’s proposal to the committee, but told colleagues she’d never discussed it with him, nor ever spoken with the Governor about redistricting.

“I viewed it as my obligation to the state to continue the process to work on the map and I thank the governor’s office for providing me with a district map that I could use,” Griffin said.

Sununu chose not to attend the hearing or send a staffer to explain his map. His proposal does make some significant changes to the current maps, but the changes were less dramatic than what Republicans proposed.

“There seems to be this obsession with keeping things the way they are,” Rep. Ross Berry of Manchester said.

No Republican indicated a willingness to back Sununu’s proposal, but several people testified they preferred it to the Republican-crafted map Sununu promised to veto.

“It's a vast improvement from the previous plan,” said Rep. Timothy Horrigan of Durham, a Democrat.

But committee members from both parties seemed to see Sununu’s map as mostly a way to restart discussion over congressional redistricting.

If lawmakers and Sununu fail to reach agreement on district lines, New Hampshire’s Supreme Court could impose a map.

“I would like to get something else out of this committee by next week,” Griffin told colleagues at the hearing’s close.

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