Rep. Orcutt may run for the 20th District

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: December 22, 2011, 7:41 PM

 
photoState Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama
photoThe Washington State Redistricting Commission's proposed legislative districts in Clark County.

State Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said Thursday he plans to run for the 20th Legislative District if a proposed redistricting map that would boot him out of the 18th District is approved.

The proposed legislative map moves about 38,000 constituents, including Orcutt himself, from the 18th District to the 20th District to balance out inequalities in population.

Orcutt said running for election in the 20th makes sense because Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia of the 20th District, is likely to be moved into the 2nd Legislative District during redistricting.

Orcutt also has his home and his forestry business in the Cowlitz County area that would join the 20th District under the proposed map. His prospects of election would be good, as the 20th District includes Lewis County, a stronghold for the timber industry, he said.

The 18th District now is the state’s third most populous district with more than 160,000 residents. It includes the cities of La Center, Ridgefield, Yacolt, Battle Ground, Camas and Washougal in Clark County, Cowlitz County east of Interstate 5 and the city of Woodland.

Under the proposed legislative map, the district would shed its Cowlitz segment and a rural northwest corner of Clark County, including part of the Amboy area. The cities of La Center, Yacolt, Ridgefield, Battle Ground, Camas and Washougal would remain in the 18th District.

Redistricting is required every 10 years after each new census. The state Redistricting Commission is responsible for the task. The commission is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, appointed by the state House and Senate, plus a nonvoting chairman. It has until Jan. 1 to finalize new maps.

The commission presented the proposed legislative map for Southwest Washington on Dec. 16, along with other western portions of the state.

In addition to Orcutt, four other legislative incumbents — Alexander, Rep. Jim McCune, R-Graham, Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, and Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest — would be displaced under the proposal.

To see and zoom into the proposed map for Southwest Washington, click here.