One of the Republican candidates vying for his party’s nomination in the 5th Congressional District is calling on House Speaker Chris Donovan, a Democrat in that race, to step down from his position on the Reapportionment Committee.
“Chris Donovan is a declared candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 5th District and his participation on the redistricting commission is as blatant a conflict of interest as I have ever seen,” Mark Greenberg, a Republican candidate, said. “In fact, I’m surprised that Chris does not see this for himself.”
Donovan countered in a statement that the constitution requires his participation in the redistricting process as Speaker of the House.
“Every member of the committee is an elected official and therefore naturally political,” Donovan said. “That’s what the Constitution requires. Our positions on the committee are entirely appropriate. As Speaker, I have a leadership role to play and I am fulfilling that responsibility.”
“Further, the committee is bipartisan by Constitutional design, and I am working with Democrats and Republicans to come to the bipartisan agreement that is required of us,” Donovan added.
But Greenberg doesn’t see it that way.
“A declared candidate sitting on the panel that is recommending new district boundaries gives the absolute worst appearance,” Greenberg said. “Our elected officials must be committed to transparent and open government. By not stepping down, Chris Donovan is engaging in the same old back-room politics and seeking an unfair political advantage. If he refuses to step down, I believe Connecticut voters will see right through his true motives.”
Donovan may be the only member of the committee seeking higher office, but every member of the committee will be running for reelection in districts they’ve collectively drawn.
If the eight member bipartisan committee is unable to come up with new maps by Nov. 30 the redistricting process will go to a judge to decide. A ninth member will be added to the committee in the next 30 days, since the committee already failed to meet its Sept. 15 deadline.