The Rhode Island Redistricting Committee voted 11-6 to approve a plan to correct a population imbalance between the state’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts, but it was the unanimous approval of House and Senate redistricting plans that will affect the Chariho towns.
The approved House Plan D would make all of Charlestown part of Donna Walsh’s District-36, removing the northern part of town from Larry Valencia’s District-39.
District-39 would, in turn, add the northernmost piece of Hopkinton, leaving Brian Patrick Kennedy’s District-38 the remainder of the town as well as a portion of northern Westerly. District-39 would also add one neighborhood of Exeter.
On the Senate side, Francis Maher Jr.’s District-34 would expand to include more of the northern side of Charlestown. Dennis Algiere’s District-38 would lose that section of Charlestown, but expand east into South Kingstown.
Under the new maps, Sen. Maher would still be the only member of the General Assembly to represent people of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton.
Rep. Walsh said that the redistricting will not change much, but it could have one positive impact for Charlestown voters: The elimination of confusion.
Walsh said that she would feel fortunate to have all of Charlestown in her district, and is glad that there could be less confusion for voters, who are split at Route 2 as part of the current district map.
“I like the idea of having all of Charlestown,” she said. “Finally.”
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.