Mississippi elected leaders ask federal judge to dismiss ‘gerrymandering’ lawsuit

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Three Mississippi officials are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to create a larger black majority in one state Senate district.
Gov. Phil Bryant, Attorney General Jim Hood and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann say they didn’t draw the state legislative districts and should not be sued. They are the only members of the state Elections Commission, but legislators draw state House and Senate maps.
The lawsuit was filed in July by three black people, including one who lost in 2015 to Republican incumbent Eugene “Buck” Clarke of Hollandale.
It says District 22, stretching from the Delta into Madison County, is 51 percent black but “lacks real electoral opportunity” for African-Americans.
Plaintiffs want a judge to order state officials to redraw the district before 2019 elections.

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