A zoomed-out view of the entire newly drawn House District 31, which will be used for the 2022 election. Map courtesy Oregon Legislature
Thanks to the 2020 Census, new legislative maps have been drawn, approved, and signed into law to be used for the 2022 election.
And while there is a legal challenge in the courts to those maps, as it stands, in 2022, a significant shift in who people in rural western Washington County will be voting for in Oregon’s House of Representatives will take place.
This story will examine changes only to the House side of things; changes in the Oregon Senate and the statewide Congressional maps have also taken place, but are less impactful on the immediate political landscape for the communities within this newspaper’s bounds.
In general, readers of this news publication currently are split between four legislative districts. The bulk lie in House District 32—currently represented by Suzanne Weber—which includes much of the North Coast, Gales Creek, Banks, parts of Manning, and Buxton, and Timber.
Many of those living north of Highway 26, including Buxton proper, parts of Manning, and Bacona, will likely lie in H.D. 31—currently represented by Brad Witt—which also includes Vernonia and Scappoose, and those areas near Banks such as the Quail Valley Golf Course and the homes to the immediate south.
Those in parts of Roy and Mountaindale, meanwhile, are in H.D. 30—represented currently by former Gales Creek resident Janeen Sollman—which also includes North Plains and parts of Hillsboro, as well as historic Banks communities such as parts of Greenville and Wilkesboro.
Finally, in some areas between Banks and Forest Grove lies H.D. 29—represented by Susan McLain—which includes Forest Grove, Cornelius, part of Hillsboro, and a bit of Roy as well.
That’s all changing in 2022.
With the swoop of a pen, Oregon Governor Kate Brown approved maps drawn by Oregon’s Legislature in September, and now, the vast majority of our readers will find themselves in exactly one legislative district in Oregon’s House of Representatives, along with our neighbors in North Plains, Vernonia, and Gaston.
In 2022, welcome to House District 31 for the rest of us not already used to that number.
Current House Representative Brad Witt has already said he will not seek reelection, so the newly-drawn district will have no sitting rep. When the primaries come. So far, Witt’s recent challenger Brian Stout has announced he will seek election to the seat.
A tiny portion of Gales Creek-area residents may be surprised to find themselves in H.D. 29—McLain’s district—if they live east of Stringtown Road.
All these words describing maps are of course, going to fall short, so refer to the included maps, and for those who wish to drill down further, an interactive map showing all the new districts as well as more information on the redistricting process can be found at oregonlegislature.gov/redistricting.
The current bounds of House District 32. Map courtesy Oregon Legislature
A closer view of the Washington County view of the newly drawn House District 31, which will be used for the 2022 election. Map courtesy Oregon Legislature