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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Adam Smith

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October 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Minority representation still a challenge in hyper-diverse 9th district

The 9th Congressional District (shown in green) was redrawn this year to be Washington’s first ‘majority-minorty’ district. (Image via Google Maps and Washington State Redistricting Commission)

Majority-minority districts are usually created with an eye to boosting the number of minorities in Congress. But in the Washington’s new majority-minority 9th District, that’s definitely not going to happen this election.

SEATTLE — When Washington’s congressional districts were redrawn last January, the State Redistricting Commission made a bold move:

They split the city of Seattle between two districts in order to create the state’s first ever “majority-minority” district.

The 9th Congressional District was shifted northward, leaving behind the Fort Lewis area and rural Pierce County to take in both South Seattle and a growing population of immigrant and minority voters in South King County.

Now 51 percent of residents in the new 9th district identify as ethnic minorities.

But when those minority voters cast their ballots this week, they’ll be choosing between eight-term incumbent Adam Smith, a Democrat, and GOP challenger Jim Postma.

Both are white. Both are Christian. Both were born in the US.

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Comments | More in Local | Topics: 9th District, Adam Smith, Congress