The new districts passed by supervisors in March will stand and be used in the upcoming 2011 county-wide elections.
The new districts passed by supervisors in March will stand and be used in the upcoming 2011 county-wide elections.
A federal judge ruled in favor of Madison County Thursday allowing a controversial redistricting plan to be used in the upcoming 2011 elections.

Two candidates and five voters filed a temporary restraining order against the county hoping to block the new redistricting lines, hoping to force them to run under old lines instead.

Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. ruled from the bench that the plaintiffs failed to meet any of the four criteria to impose a temporary restraining order and denied the motion, while siding entirely with the county.

County Attorney Eric Hamer said they were pleased with the results.

"We are gratified by the result and look forward to running these elections on Constitutional lines in August and November," Hamer said in an email.

The county first started pushing to redistrict back in March when supervisors approved the current redistricting plan and sent it to the Justice Department for preclearance, which they received last week.

The county also petitioned in federal court to extend the qualifying deadlines, but Judge Guirola ruled against the supervisors, saying, among other things, there wasn't enough time to reapportion the districts and the county lacked legal standing to bring a case.

Hamer said that ruling had no bearing in their attempt to redistrict, however, and cited attorney general's opinions that said they could move forward with new lines and administratively move candidates to their new districts.

Currently only two candidates will be effected by the change.

Billy Redd, who qualified to run in District 2 will be moved to District 3. If he choses to stay in the race he will face off against incumbent D.I. Smith and challenger Gerald Steen in the republican primary on Aug. 2.

David Buchanan, who qualified to run in District 4 where Karl Banks stands as the incumbent, will be moved to District 5 where incumbent Paul Griffin already faces five other challengers - three running against him in the democratic primary and two who are running in the republican primary.

Buchanan is a republican and has said he would leave his name on the ballot, but would not actively campaign save to throw his support behind democratic challenger Shirley Simmons who he says has the best chance to beat Griffin and upset the current board dynamic.

For more see next week's Madison County Journal.