Mass. political redistricting proposal passes House, Senate
After months of hearings with voters and meetings with lawmakers, the House and Senate gave quick approval to a redistricting plan Tuesday that will redraw the Massachusetts political landscape for the next 10 years.
The Senate voted 36-0 for its boundaries. The House voted 151-3 for its boundaries after rejecting seven of eight amendments, including one filed by Rep. Bruce Ayers, D-Quincy, to keep his district the same.
Under the plan, Ayers would lose Precinct 3 of Ward 3 to Rep. Martin Walsh, D-Dorchester, and swap precincts with Rep. Tackey Chan, D-Quincy. Ayers would also lose Precinct 5 of Ward 5 to Chan and gain Precinct 4 of Ward 3.
Three other local representatives did not challenge the changes made to their districts.
Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Pembroke – who represents Duxbury’s Precincts 2, 3, 4 and 5 – would pick up Precinct 6 from Rep. Thomas Calter, D-Kingston, who would gain Precinct 2 of Halifax from Webster.
When Webster ran for office in 2002, he promised his constituents that he would work to unify Duxbury, he said.
“Ideally (the district) would be all of Hanson, all of Pembroke and all of Duxbury, but they’ve grown too much,” said Webster.
Webster said he would serve his Duxbury constituents just as he did before.
“Before, when I only represented four (Duxbury) precincts, I always regarded (the town) as completely in my district and that will remain the same as it always has,” said Webster.
Calter, who would represent Precinct 1 of Duxbury and all of Halifax, applauded the redistricting committee, but was disappointed that towns in his district would continue to be split.
“While I am delighted that Halifax will be unified, I am disappointed for the towns of Duxbury and Middleboro who had hope that their two towns would be unified as well,” said Calter.
Rep. Walter Timilty, D-Milton, said that because both Milton and Randolph precincts changed, changes to his district were inevitable.
But he said the changes will have little effect because he considers himself as a representative of both towns.
Timilty said he works closely with Ayers and Rep. Mark Cusack, D-Braintree, in representing Randolph, and with Reps. Linda Dorcena Forry, D-Dorchester, and Angelo Scaccia, D-Readville, in Milton. Scaccia would no longer represent Milton in January if the plan is enacted.