Three, maybe four, members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors won't be around to start new terms in 2005. Ambition, including the thought that they may be capable in Congress, will lure some away. Boredom will be the factor if Dan Eckstrom, first appointed in 1988, calls it quits in southside District 2. Others will be driven off by new political boundaries that must be drawn to compensate for population growth. As the county grew to 843,746 people, the five districts are now wildly out of whack, according to population figures presented to the county's redistricting committee.
District 3, occupied by Democrat Sharon Bronson, is bursting with 200,906 people. That is 32,157 over the target of 168,749. It should be the rural and suburban district that it was intended to be, and lose inner-city neighborhoods and Flowing Wells. Although strange voting and late results from the Tohono O'odham reservation helped Bronson edge out Barney Brenner last fall, voters in northwest precincts and rural Ajo, where she lost nearly 2-1, didn't much care for her.
Ray Carroll, the Republican who represents eastside and Green Valley District 4, will have less of a problem. He needs to shed only 9,875 people from his District 4 population of 178,625.
The three other districts have too few people. District 5, represented for 12 years by Democrat Raúl Grijalva, includes Sam Hughes, the UA, the west side and a gerrymandered strip of the southside. It has only 145,986 people and will need to take in 22,763.
Eckstrom's district must come up with 12,190 new people. And in District 1, which includes part of central Tucson and most of the foothills, another 7,079 people are needed to bring the district, represented by Republican Ann Day, even.
Redistricting is based on population, not on the county's voter registration of 381,495. Eckstrom and Grijalva have the lowest number of voters, 49,655 and 60,715 respectively.
The county has until June 1 to come up with a new map, under a state law that became effective this year. Supervisors have asked for an extension.
Registration looks like this:
District 1: Republican, 38,246; Democrat, 33,636; Libertarian, 821; Green, 427; other, 17,213.
District 2: Democrat, 26,245; Republican, 12,824; Libertarian, 868; Green, 255; other, 9,473.
District 3: Democrat, 35,664; Republican, 28,373; Libertarian, 879; Green, 175; other, 15,519.
District 4: Republican, 47,742; Democrat, 34,134; Libertarian, 761; Green, 166; other, 17,359.
District 5: Democrat, 33,412; Republican, 13,548; Libertarian, 1,029; Green, 646; other, 12,080.