Oklahoma Watch: Redistribution plan would divide state’s largest Hispanic community | Government-and-politics

The area north of Interstate 40 and surrounding Tinker Air Force Base would remain in the 5th District.

State House Rep. Ryan Martinez R-Edmond, who chairs the Legislature’s joint special committee on redistribution, rebutted suggestions that lawmakers unfairly sliced ​​the Hispanic population for their card to work. When asked what Hispanic representation in Oklahoma would look like over the next decade at a press conference this month, Martinez said “we don’t take race into account.”

But the proposed card halves the number of Hispanics in District 5, from 153,173 to 78,218. Democratic lawmakers say the move is an attempt to dilute the Hispanic-majority Democratic vote in the region and shore up Republican incumbents. of Congress.

“The group that is benefiting the most from these new lines is the GOP,” said Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City, who represents State House District 92, an area that stretches from the city’s downtown area to the south. . “I don’t know how to put it another way. Nationally, they’re trying to make sure they position themselves as best they can to take over the house. “

The state’s population has grown by 208,002 people since 2010 – 67% of whom identify as Hispanic.

Texas County has seen its Hispanic population increase by 25% since 2010, making just over half of the county’s population Hispanic. Much of the growth can be attributed to the creation of Seaboard Foods, the country’s fourth largest pork processor, in the 1990s. Seaboard created the opportunity for Latinos to settle and raise families in the country. region.

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