The Republican-controlled Georgia General Assembly last Monday finalized its congressional maps for the upcoming decade, making minor changes in many of the districts but dramatically shifting a suburban Atlanta district from one currently occupied by a Democrat to one that would have backed former President Donald Trump in 2020.
As a result of the legislature's changes, Georgia's congressional delegation is expected to add a new Republican member and lose a Democrat — altering its current composition of 8 Republicans and 6 Democrats — in a state that now-President Joe Biden won last fall by roughly 12,000 votes out of almost 5 million ballots cast.
Rep. Lucy McBath, who was first elected in 2018 in a suburban Atlanta district that fell out of favor with the Republican brand over the last decade, saw her district become deeply Republican under the new lines — which led her to switch races and challenge fellow Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in a neighboring district.
Democrats are dismayed by the new Republican-dominated 6th Congressional district, arguing that the map dilutes minority strength in the rapidly-diversifying state.
But in a twist, conservative GOP Reps. Andrew Clyde and Marjorie Taylor Greene have also been critical of their party's mapmaking machinations, which was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In a quest to press their partisan advantage, state Republicans drew Clyde out of his 9th district seat and reconfigured Greene's 14th district to include liberal-leaning areas of Cobb County, a former GOP stronghold near Atlanta that has trended Democratic in recent years.
Members are not required by law to live within the congressional districts that they represent.
Clyde said last week that he would run again in the 9th district, but wasn't pleased about the action taken by the legislature.
"I believe this was a purposeful decision made by a handful of establishment politicians in Atlanta. I knew when I was elected that being a hardcore conservative would come at a steep price in Washington. I have always happily paid that price in the name of freedom," he wrote in a statement on Facebook.
"What I never anticipated was the unprecedented act of being drawn out of my own district by a Republican Lieutenant Governor and a Republican Speaker of the House," he added.
The congresswoman wasn't drawn out of her district, but she remained dissatisfied with the new lines.
"In the future, this year's redistricting by the Georgia GOP will prove to be a fool's errand that was led by power obsessed state legislators. Not true representatives of the People of Georgia," she said in a statement.
While both districts have been reshaped in ways that are troubling to the duo — both seats remain heavily Republican and their reelection bids should be secure.