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Half of Winchester Could Get New State Senator

In a new map outlining possible redistricting, Senator Pat Jehlen would no longer be Winchester's only State Senator.

According to draft redistricting maps released Tuesday, State Senator Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) would no longer represent all of Winchester in the state Senate.

Jehlen currently represents the whole town. According to the proposal, half of Winchester (the precincts closest to Stoneham) would be added to Sen. Katherine Clark's (D-Melrose) district. Under the proposed redistricting, Jehlen, if re-elected, would represent the entire city of Somerville, Medford, Cambridge and half of Winchester, which would add about 40,000 people to Jehlen's district.

"I hope the people of Winchester know that I will remain available to everybody," Jehlen said. "I expect to always continue to be interested in all the people of Winchester. I've learned a lot in my time there and I've made a lot of new friends."

The Massachusetts General Court's Special Joint Committee on Redistricting released the draft redistricting maps Tuesday for public comment. The maps outline proposed new legislative districts for the state House and Senate; they do not outline new congressional districts at the federal level.

Currently, Clark's Middlesex and Essex District consists of Melrose Wards 1-5 and all of Malden, Wakefield, Reading, Stoneham and Lynnfield.

"Senator Clark is a fabulous colleague," Jehlen said. "And now, the good part in Winchester is that you'll have two Senators to call."

The proposal from the state Legislature's special joint committee, tasked with redrawing district lines after last year's census, would move Melrose Wards 6 and 7 and one half of Winchester into Clark's district, which would be renamed "Fifth Middlesex."

Rep. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester, would continue to represent all of Winchester in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Clark's district would also lose Lynnfield, which is in Essex county, to Sen. Thomas McGee's (D-Lynn) "Third Essex" district, which includes Saugus, Lynn, Swampscott and Marblehead, all towns that McGee currently represents.

The state legislature will be seeking comments on the proposed redistricting plans for the next two weeks.

"Over the next fourteen days we are asking for your comments on the draft maps before the Committee makes a recommendation to the General Court," wrote the committee's chairmen Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, and Rep. Michael Moran, D-Brighton in a letter posted on the redistricting committee's website. "The public comment period is the first time this has been done in Massachusetts and is an important component in what many have described as the most open, inclusive, and transparent redistricting process in the history of the state."

To contact the redistricting committee, fill out this online form.

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