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Georgia lawmakers approve new congressional maps, most likely handing GOP another seat

Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath said she will run for a seat in a neighboring district, challenging a colleague, after her district was made far more conservative.
Image: Sen. John Kennedy (R-18, Macon) answers a question from Emanuel Jones (D-10, Decatur), in the Senate Chambers during a special session at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Nov. 9, 2021.
Republican state Sen. John Kennedy answers a question from Democratic Sen. Emanuel Jones during a special session at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Nov. 9.Hyosub Shin / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP file

Georgia’s Republican-controlled Legislature approved a new congressional map Monday, sending the plans on to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature.

Kemp, a Republican, is expected to approve the redistricting plans, which passed the Senate on Friday and the House on Monday. The new map is expected to give the GOP an additional seat in Congress, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering Project.

The new map makes big changes to two districts north of Atlanta, making the 6th District — represented by Democrat Lucy McBath — far more conservative while packing Democrats into the 7th District. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux flipped the 7th District last year by less than 3 points, but the seat now has a 25-point Democratic advantage, according to the Princeton analysis.

McBath tweeted Monday that she will run in the nearby 7th District. Lawmakers are not required to live in the districts they represent, and McBath's campaign noted in a statement that no incumbents live in the district.

"Black women are often told to stand down and step aside," she said. "Those are two things I simply will not do."

The move sets her up for a primary fight with Bourdeaux, who tweeted after McBath's announcement that she is "working hard to make sure we bring home real results" for the district.

McBath is a gun control advocate who ran for Congress after her son Jordan Davis was shot to death in Florida.