Home>Articles>NV Assembly Republican Caucus Blames ‘Democrat Gerrymandering’ For Losses

Nevada Republican Assembly Caucus graphs super-minority due to Democratic redistricting (Photo: @NVGOPAssembly)

NV Assembly Republican Caucus Blames ‘Democrat Gerrymandering’ For Losses

The caucus contends that Republican voters were stuffed into safe districts while other districts were diluted

By Megan Barth, December 15, 2022 12:06 pm

In a rare tweet, the Nevada Republican Assembly caucus blamed the legislative Democratic majority for gerrymandering Republicans into a super-minority in the state Assembly.

The caucus contends, in a following tweet, that Republican voters were “stuffed” into safe districts while other districts were “diluted.”

The Globe was reporting live from the legislative building during the Democratic majority’s redistricting deliberations and found that progressive groups, republicans and one democrat, Edgar Flores, did not support the proposed maps as drafted in Senate Bill 1 (SB-1). As reported:

Many Republicans on Twitter referred to SB1 as political engineering. Assm. Jill Tolles claimed that her district  was “carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey” where Democrats have redrawn her district from a +6 Republican district to a near +4 Democrat district. Assem. Heidi Gansert made the case  that Reno was “severed” and Reno and Washoe County voters are being disenfranchised. Due to SB1, Gansert claims that Senate District 15  has been “artificially engineered.”

At that time, the Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus noted that there wasn’t a single voice to support the Democrat’s maps, noting that “everyone hates their maps.”After SB-1’s passage, Sen. James Settlemeyer and Assm. Robin Titus assailed the Democratic majority:

“Hardly anyone spoke in support of the Democratic redistricting plan during today’s hearing. No matter how you look at it, Republicans have produced a much better set of maps than Democrats,” said Republican Senate Leader James Settelmeyer. “The minority plan has less deviation and is moreaccurate, increases political competitiveness, diversity, and maintains compact geography. Democrats only make up 34 percent of the voting population but are egregiously railroading through redistricting maps that guarantee them 60 percent of seats violating equal representation of non- Democrats. A four percent advantage in voter registration is not grounds for super-majorities in both chambers.”

“Once again, Democrats have attempted to shut Republicans out of the legislative process,” said Assembly Republican Leader Dr. Robin Titus.“We saw this during the 2021 Legislative Session which proved to be one of the most partisan sessions in Nevada history and we are seeing it again in the 33rd Special Session where Democrats have adopted a set of rules that will not allow Republicans to submit any bills or even any amendments. Democrats continue to trample on the legislative process and silence the nearly two-thirds of Nevadans who are not registered Democrats and have no representation in this process. Nevadans are being denied the ability to choose their elected officials, instead elected officials are drawing maps to pick their voters.”

The maps passed on a party-line vote as Republicans declared that Democrats were  “egregiously railroading through redistricting maps that guarantee them 60 percent of seats, violating equal representation of non-Democrats.” As cited by The Nevada Independent: “According to the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, the maps would give Democrats an advantage in 15 of 21 state Senate seats, and 29 of 42 Assembly seats. If Democrats won all those seats, they would be well above the two-thirds supermajority needed to approve tax increases.”

The Democrats fell just shy of a supermajority and with an approved $11.2 billion state budget, Governor-Elect Joe Lombardo has publicly stated that there is “no need for tax increases.”

Republican Assembly leader PK O’Neill told The Globe: “I think gerrymandering was a major component to our losses. I do feel that redistricting really hurt us. Jill Tolles’ seat was so cut up and made it Democratic and other districts were cut up as well. The whole process need to be reviewed as well as how ballots are processed, collected and counted so people are more confident in their vote. I want to hear more about an independent commission as previously proposed by former State Senate Ben Kieckhefer this legislative session. I now think there are some legitimate arguments that could be considered and heard.”

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