When the U.S. Census announced its 2020 count Monday, Oregon was announced as one of seven states that will add congressional seats, beginning in 2022.
Oregon will have a sixth congressional seat, adding a seat for the first time in nearly 40 years.
Both the Democrats and Republicans in Oregon applauded the news, with each side aiming to add a representative in Congress.
The Democrats, who hold four of the five existing seats, said they are eager to send another Democrat to Washington, D.C.
“This is an important milestone for our state, and we’re excited for the opportunity to send another Democrat to Congress who will fight for all Oregonians, and work with President Biden and Vice President Harris to help America recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build back better than before,” Carla “KC” Hanson, the chair of the Oregon Democratic Party, said.
“Oregon’s continued growth over the past decade is proof that Americans are voting with their feet and are excited to live in a state where Democratic leaders turn our shared progressive values into action, from voting access, to reproductive rights, to tackling the climate crisis and so much more.”
At the same times, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan said she hopes the state will do a fair redistricting that gives both parties a real chance at competing for the new seat.
Drazan pointed to the House Redistricting Committee, which currently has three Republicans and three Democrats.
“Now that we have equal representation on the redistricting committee, our legislative and congressional districts will be drawn in a way that avoids political gerrymandering,” said Drazan. “Our current maps have favored one political party over another for the past 20 years, but Oregonians can be confident that this sixth congressional district will be drawn according to the rules to give people fair representation.”
Hanson also said all eyes will be on the redistricting effort.
“With this news, the stakes of the 2022 midterm elections in Oregon just got even higher,” she said. “Now that we know how many Congressional districts Oregon will have for the next redistricting cycle, we’re paying especially close attention to how the district lines will be drawn.”