ATLANTA (Dec. 1, 2023) — Sen. Mike Dugan (R–Carrollton) released the following statement regarding today’s Senate vote on the proposed State Senate district maps in the form of Senate Bill 1EX:
“In late October of this year U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones determined that Georgia’s District maps drawn after the 2020 Census, which include Congressional, State Senate, and State House seats, violated the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. He informed the state of Georgia that these maps needed to be modified to include more majority Black districts and set a mandatory completion date of Dec. 8, 2023 to have these new maps completed. As a Senate body, we believe the original maps complied with the Act and the State have appealed his ruling. However, until the appeal process is completed, we are incumbent to comply with the ruling. To meet Judge Jones’ deadline, Governor Kemp called for a Special Session of the Georgia General Assembly to respond to the court’s demand.
Once this Special Session was called, the House and Senate Committees on Reapportionment and Redistricting began their work of determining Judge Jones’ exact ruling so that these new districts could be created. Historically during this process, existing District lines are often adjusted. Typically, these adjustments are minimal, although this was not the case with the 30th State Senate District. Upon this realization, I made the decision vote “no” on the passage of Senate Bill 1EX, which would have adjusted the composition of my district far more than I believe it should have been.
I have been honored to serve the good people of the 30th since 2013. From 2013 until 2021 my district included Carroll, parts of Douglas, and parts of Paulding Counties. As a result of the last redistricting process, I was also proud to include Haralson County in that list. This new map significantly cuts Carroll County, to the point that geographically nearly half of the county is now in another District. People I have known all of my life and have served for a decade are no longer in my area.
There are times during the redistricting process when substantial changes to a district must take place. Those times are truly unfortunate and occur when there are no other viable solutions. That was not the case here. In order to avoid significant changes that would have impacted the entire state, Carroll County did, in fact, need to be adjusted. I did present several alternatives during the Special Session in order to preserve greater county integrity yet, much to my dismay, they were rejected out of hand.
If my perspectives had been taken seriously by the committee, this situation could have and would have been better resolved. I was given no forewarning of how massive this split was until the map was shown to me in front of an entire group. I protested the decision, presented my thoughts on why I was opposed and offered a potential way of improving our district while keeping Carroll County more whole. I was told that the map would be taken into further consideration and analyzation. When I reported to Atlanta for Special Session, I was looking forward to seeing the changes I had hoped would be made. None were. When I inquired into these changes again, I was given a list of things that would have to be accomplished before they could be considered and a deadline to meet. The list was no small feat. I was fortunately able to get everything accomplished two hours before the committee was scheduled to meet. Now, imagine my frustration when I was told a just a few moments before the committee convened that my modifications would not be considered, even though it met every requirement I was given.
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. This is politics at its ugliest.
At the end of the day, it is the impact on the people of the 30th State Senate District and the area I have called home for most of my life that I care about the most. Representing you in the State Senate has been an honor. I would like to express that although I will no longer be on the ballot for many of my current constituents, my door is always open should you ever need anything. You have been my people for nearly all of my life and will continue to be so, even if some crudely drawn line on a map says differently.”