Could it get any worse?
Rural counties in Arizona are regularly stomped on by the powers in Phoenix. Our Cochise County state elected representatives have consistently been more interested in Maricopa and Phoenix than here. In fact, our current state senator, David Gowan, has a business in the Phoenix area rather than opening up something where he lives. Oh well.
But the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) is supposed to look out for all the people in Arizona when they redraw congressional and state districts every 10 years. One of the "factors" used by the IRC is paying attention to jurisdictional boundaries, if possible, when creating districts. Apparently this idea was thrown out when considering Cochise County. Cochise County got split into two legislative and congressional districts, LD19 & LD 21 and CD 6 and CD7.
Take a look. In both cases, Cochise County (outlined in the black box) has been split. From my perspective this is outrageous. The lower portion along the Mexico international border has been split off from the rest of the county. This includes the towns of Bisbee (the county seat) and Douglas which has a major port of entry that is about to be expanded.
For state government, this effectively dilutes any real influence Cochise County has with state government. Yes, it is a rural county with a rather small population, but the county has now been lumped with four (yes that's right) other counties: Pima, Santa Cruz, Graham and Greenlee. We have had a hard enough time to get attention with the powers in Phoenix, now it will almost be impossible.
Don't believe our State Senator and Representatives when they come around at election time. We are getting next to nothing from state government for the foreseeable future.
The situation with the new Congressional Districts (CD) is a bit better and a bit worse. First, the worse. Again our rural county is split into two districts each comprising much larger population centers. To be fair, the state only has 9 congressional districts and the population of the state has exploded in the last 10 years. So Cochise County, with no population gain, isn't going to get it's own CD. But unlike the 2012 - 2020 CD where the county was in CD2 it is now in two CDs, 6 & 7. The real loser here is the lower tier of the county including Bisbee and Douglas. How often do you think your congress person and staff is going to venture to Douglas when they also have to represent Yuma, over 400 miles away? Where is the district office going to be located?
The only good bit of news regarding this, and I suppose what consideration was given, is that now CD 7 represents the entire Mexican International border of Arizona. Maybe that's the good news in this otherwise disappointing outcome to redistricting.