CHARLESTON — Hampshire County will be part of West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District beginning next year, a State Senate Committee recommended Monday.
The state will lose a seat in the House of Representatives in 2022 because of population decline. State senators this week settled on a north-south division of the state for the 2 districts. The House of Delegates had yet to address the Congressional issue as of midday Tuesday.
The senate plan effectively splits Alex Mooney’s current district between the 2 remaining districts, represented by David McKinley (north) and Carol Miller (south).
If all 3 Republican incumbents run again in 2022, Mooney would be thrown into a primary fight with McKinley.
Mooney was 1st elected to represent the 2nd District, which includes Hampshire County, in 2014.
The new 1st District includes 27 counties. They stretch from the tip of the Northern Panhandle along the Ohio River down through Wood County. Doddridge, Lewis, Upshur and Randolph counties and those north of them are in the district along with the 8 counties of the Eastern Panhandle.
The district’s population is slightly less than the 2nd’s in 2020 census numbers, but the 1st District has been growing while the 2nd District has been losing population.
The plan advanced by the State Senate Redistricting Committee Monday afternoon will lump Hampshire and Morgan counties in with part of Berkeley County, much as it is now.
But the proposal puts the population of the proposed 15th District and the 1 to its east — the rest of Berkeley and all of Jefferson County — both at about 4% above the ideal number of 105,513. The 15th would be the most populous senate district in the state.
The senate committee, chaired by the 15th District’s Charles Trump, has not set a public hearing on its recommendation.
House of Delegates
Under the latest configuration of the House map, Hampshire’s districts would be numbered 88 and 89.
The 89th would include most of the current 51st district, which covers the eastern third of Hampshire and most of Morgan County, represented by George Miller of Berkeley Springs.
The new map cuts Berkeley Springs out of the district, containing only about 5,500 people in Morgan County west of Cacapon State Park. They’re added to a portion of Hampshire that extends west to Green Spring, Springfield and Romney, includes Augusta and everything east of Route 29 South.
Ruth Rowan, who currently represents the 50th District, would be the incumbent.
The new 88th District would have the western edge of Hampshire and the southern portion over to Route 29 South. It would be paired up with a piece of Mineral County up past Fort Ashby and the southern half of Mineral County, roughly below U.S. 50, all the way to the state line. o