Judge Hears Arguments in Redistricting Case

JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — A federal judge heard arguments Wednesday about whether African-American voters in a Mississippi state Senate district with a slim black majority have a chance to elect a candidate of their choice. Three black plaintiffs sued the state in July seeking to have Senate District 22 redrawn to increase the black majority. The district runs over 100 miles through six counties from the Delta down into the Jackson suburbs of Madison County. Its voting-age population is 51 percent black and is represented by a white senator, Republican Buck Clarke of Hollandale. He was first elected in 2003 and is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee but is running for state treasurer this year, which means there is an open race for the Senate seat. The plaintiffs want the district redrawn before this year’s election. Reconfiguring District 22 could affect one other district nearby. African-Americans makeup about 38 percent of Mississippi’s population and hold 25 percent of the seats in the state Senate.



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