EDITORIAL/Gerrymandering Gerald

EDITORIAL/Gerrymandering Gerald


Democrats have been handed a second Madison County supervisor district out of the five, one that was previously split evenly so the best candidate could win regardless of race. But no more.

Republican Gerald Steen teamed up with Democrats to make Karl Banks’ District 4 a solid 60% minority block by removing a large chunk of Lake Caroline, swooping down to cross I-55, hug County Line Road and scoop up more Democrats.

The redistricting, approved 3-2 by the Board of Supervisors last week, perpetually establishes the powerful swing vote among Republicans to ensure public corruption is able to thrive in Madison County.

Is this gerrymandering which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional or just fair politics?

Steen has the powerful swing vote and is the one who apparently brokered the redistricting deal. 

As long as Steen is safely out of the reach of Madison’s Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler, Gerry will do anything.

The new District 4 runs from the Big Black River at I-55 at the Yazoo County line all the way south (bypassing Madison) to loop around, hopping I-55 and reaching east to the Northpark mall area.

Is this gerrymandering which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional or just fair politics?

We’ll call it Geraldmandering just to be safe and you be the judge.

District 4 is currently comprised of 45.6% white voters and 47% black voters, according to the 2020 Census data provided by the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District. 

Under the redistricting plan approved Feb. 7, the new District 4 is 31.7% white and 58.6% black. That new makeup pairs with longtime majority black District 5 to solidify the 3-2 swing vote.

A large portion of Lake Caroline, which has voted predominantly Republican the last couple of election cycles, was taken out of District 4 and placed into District 2. 

Banks, who served District 4 for 32 years before being ousted by a Republican in 2015, reclaimed his seat by ousting his Republican opponent in 2019. 

Good for him! That’s the way it ought to be. May the best candidate win. But we can’t have that, now!

Banks’ district, which had previously been expanded to the southern point of the county, now creeps further east along County Line Road. That, at the very least, is Geraldmandering.

District 1, District 2 and District 3 have all morphed under the new plan following explosive growth in District 2 in the last decade. 

District 1, represented by Sheila Jones, was 57% white and 31% black now has the largest disparity with 78.68% white and 11.76% black. 

District 2, represented by Trey Baxter, is going from 75% white and 15% black to 76.86% white and 15% black. 

Steen’s new District 3 carves out much of Madison so he can hide from Mary Hawkins, we suspect. And we are suspicious of a county supervisor who hides from the good mayor because of all the good she has accomplished in four decades of service fighting the corruption Steen is coming to represent such as the $2.1 million Sulfer Springs fishing hole.

Is this Yazoo to Northpark swap gerrymandering or simply fair politics and Geraldmandering? You be the judge.

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