The U.S. Supreme Court is nearing a decision over the constitutionality of independent commissions created to draw district lines, but lawmakers in Arizona aren’t waiting for the outcome to start radically redrawing the state’s political boundaries — for their own gain. House and Senate leaders have already begun discussing how and where to redraw lines, and they are likely to come to some sort of agreement over the summer, sources close to Republican leaders in both chambers said. Once an agreement is close, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) would call a special legislative session to dispense with the new maps.
Those sources also said Reps. Martha McSally (R) and Matt Salmon (R) have held discussions with national Republicans on new district lines. McSally, who won her seat over an incumbent Democrat in 2014 by just 167 votes, wants to add more Republicans to her swing district. Salmon holds a safer district in southeastern Maricopa County.
Legislative Republicans have signed a contract with a national mapping data firm, National Demographics Corporation, in advance of what they see as a likely favorable ruling, which would take control of the mapping process away from the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and hand it to legislators.
Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the Arizona House of Representative’s Republican caucus, said the chamber had hired the mapping firm “to begin updating the voter database so that if the Supreme Court rules in our favor, we are ready to begin.”