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State Redistricting Would Give State Rep. Lawn More Precincts in Watertown

The proposed changes would move the 11th and 12th precincts from Jonathan Hecht's district into Lawn's, and the state senate district would be altered outside of town.

The political map of Watertown would change under the proposed redistricting of the Massachusetts House and Senate districts.

The changes affect Watertown’s two state representatives — John Lawn and Jonathan Hecht — as well as the state senate seat, which has been vacated by Steven Tolman. Hecht announced last week he is vying for that senate seat and faces Belmont State Rep. William Brownsberger.

Under the proposal, State Rep. John Lawn (D-Watertown) — who represents the 10th Middlesex District — would gain two precincts in the West End of town.

Watertown Town Clerk John Flynn said he has not seen the final map, but said he has heard that the 11th and 12th precincts will be added to the 10th Middlesex District.

At the same time, Lawn would trade some precincts with Waltham’s other state representative, Tom Stanley, in the southeast part of the city. Lawn also loses one of the precincts he represents in Newton.

Lawn’s gain in Watertown would be a loss for Hecht’s 29th Middlesex District. While the district would lose two of the current 11 precincts in Watertown, it would pick up two precincts in North Cambridge, Flynn said.

Watertown’s state senate district, the Second Suffolk and Middlesex, would change, but not in Watertown.

The seat would no longer represent any of Cambridge, but would be extended into Boston to include more of the Back Bay and the Fenway. It currently includes Allston and Brighton and parts of the Back Bay and the Fenway.

The final proposed maps have not been sent to town and city clerks, said Waltham City Clerk Russ Malone.

“It’s very close,” Malone said. “We don’t have anything yet, but they will move some lines. We’ll see what happens.”

Any changes to districts must be approved by the House, the Senate and signed by the governor, Flynn said. In the past, lawsuits have also held up redistricting plans, Flynn said.

Sonny Beaches October 20, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Can you say Gerrymander?

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