WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla County will have a split personality when it comes to the next Congressional elections.
According to the final plan approved late Sunday by the Washington State Redistricting Commission, the western half of the county will be in the 4th Congressional District and the eastern half in the 5th Congressional District.
The division puts Touchet and Burbank will be in the fourth district and College Place, Walla Walla, Waitsburg, Prescott and Dixie will be in the fifth. The 4th Congressional District is represented by U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings while U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers represents the 5th Congressional District. Both are Republican Party members.
Under plans for the state legislative districts, Walla Walla and Columbia counties remained in Legislative District 16, but the portions of Benton and Franklin counties which had been included in the district were altered to reflect changes in population.
The 16th district lost a section of Franklin County except for the areas around Pasco while it gained a larger share of Benton County. The district is represented by state Rep. Maureen Walsh, state Rep. Terry Nealey and state Sen. Mike Hewitt. All are Republican Party members.
The congressional and legislative districts were redrawn using population data from the 2010 census. The intent of the redistricting commission was to balance populations in the districts to reflect changing demographics.
The new plan will go into effect 30 days after the state Legislature convenes later this month. The Legislature is not required to approve the plan.