Patrick Signs New Congressional Map, Easton Moved to Frank's District
Easton's new district would add "more continuity," committee chair says.
Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill Monday that will change who Easton residents vote for in the United States House of Representatives in 2012.
For the first time since 2001, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) will not be on the ballot. Instead, Easton will be voting in the 4th congressional district, which has been occupied by Rep. Barney Frank (D - Newton) since 1981.
The redistricting bill, headed by a redistricting joint-committee, split the state into nine congressional districts. Previously, Massachusetts was split into 10 districts.
“My thanks go out to our legislative leaders and members of the Joint Special Committee on Redistricting for coming together and completing this extraordinary task,” Patrick said in a statement. “The districts adhere to Constitutional guidelines and were created through an open and transparent process. Most importantly, these new districts are regionally balanced and reflect the Commonwealth’s diversity.”
Committee Co-Chair Rep. Michael J. Moran (D-Brighton) said that in the finalized maps, Easton and Walpole were switched. Walpole was made part of the new 8th District (Lynch's district) and Easton was made part of the new 4th district (Frank's district).
Moran said Rep. Lynch thought the switch would be appropriate.
"He said 'would you consider something like this?' Moran said. "It did make sense. It was an oversight on our behalf."
Moran said Easton seemed to have "more continuity" with towns in Frank's district like Mansfield, Sharon, Norton and Foxborough because institutions like town government and schools regularly work together.
The process, Moran said, was open and transparent, with a comment period between when the first maps were released on Nov. 7 and the signing of the bill Monday.
Lynch said last week that he will miss working for Easton.
“I have represented the town of Easton since 2001 and it has been a wonderful honor to do so," he said in a statement. "While I am disappointed that the newly amended 8th district will no longer include many of my current towns such as Easton, Medfield, Needham, Hanson and Randolph, I realize that it was a difficult process and I must commend the Redistricting Committee and the State Legislature for ensuring everyone’s voice has been heard.”
Frank was not immediately available for comment.