Massachusetts, as expected, will lose one of its ten Congressional seats, opening the door for some real jockeying amongst the ten Democratic incumbents. The national census produced a big gain for the Republican west and south, with Texas picking up four Congressional seats. In Massachusetts the news has the political class chattering, laying out scenario after scenario. The parlor chess games are interesting, but it really is premature to speculate accurately on which scenario may play out. The western Congressmen, John Olver and Richard Neel, have both announced their intention to run for re-election in 2012. Speculation will continue to center on the potential for one or more of the ten to look at a challenge to Senator Scott Brown in 2012, which would make the job of redistricting honcho’s Rep Moran, and Senator Rosenberg, a little easier.
Let us remember that the last time we talked about a potential redistricting then Speaker Finneran had some sharp blades out for Fifth District Congressman Martin Meehan. The interaction between the state legislature and the Congressional delegation should be a joy to watch. Any grudges or perceived slights could come back to haunt some of the delegation, as their fate now lies with the Legislature. Our Congresswoman, Niki Tsongas, is already making the case for the preservation of the Fifth, and the maintenance of Lowell as its hub.
Tsongas said her district should be preserved, as it has been for nearly 50 years, because the Merrimack and Concord river valleys that she represents have similar needs.
“I believe these river valleys and the communities that lie along them including the birthplaces of the American and industrial revolutions should continue to serve as the geographic and economic linchpins of the district with Lowell at its center,’’ she said. Tsongas has not given up hope that someone will bow out and vacate a seat, averting the need for an electoral faceoff between members. “A year or two is a long way out, so things can change,’’ she said.
Too early to tell, but not to early to speculate on the politics.