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Southwest Mississippi in danger

A political shoving match is going on in Jackson. The results may affect Southwest Mississippi for the next 10 years.

With fresh Census numbers in hand, members of the Mississippi Legislature are in the middle of an arm-wrestling match of sorts. Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites are all pulling and tugging at the strings of power.

Those who have reasonably powerful positions in the state are trying to collect even more, while other portions of the state — particularly the vast rural areas — that have lost population are desperately trying to hold onto the threads of power remaining.

Mississippi is knee-deep in the middle of redistricting. That’s the relatively boring process of redrawing the lines that make up house and senate districts.

On the surface, it’s a boring, mundane process. It’s the kind of drab process that only politicians and high school civics class teachers find interesting.

But important things, fundamental things, are at stake. Many political watchers say that Southwest Mississippi, particularly Natchez, had its statewide political power base weakened during redistricting following the 2000 Census.

Each time our area’s representation becomes more broadly spread out and representatives become responsible for more and more expansive areas of the state, the less ultimate power and representation our community has in Jackson.

We hope and pray that when the shoving match ends, that Southwest Mississippi is still in one piece and has good, solid representation.

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