Democrats are unhappy over tie-breaking commission member John Farmer Jr.’s choice of the Republican congressional map, but are unlikely to challenge it in court, according to a source familiar with the thinking of the commission.
Challenges are very difficult and generally hinge on voting rights act issues, and the chosen map is unlikely to fall under that type of challenge, the source said.
Meanwhile, Democrats say they are still scratching their heads over Farmer’s decision, particularly after they were told he had not made up his mind by late last night. A source said Democrats were told that Farmer had prepared two speeches, one in the event he chose the Republican map and one in the event he chose the Democrats’ map and didn’t make his final decision until this morning.
There was some griping among Democrats unconnected to the commission that Farmer, who was Attorney General under Republican Gov. Christie Whitman, had sided with “his own team.”
But Republicans and some Democrats dismissed that notion, admitting that both teams had agreed on Farmer as the 13th member.
Farmer also was part of the support team for legislative redistricting commission 11th tie-breaker Alan Rosenthal, who voted in favor of a Democratic map.
“You are going to hear that stuff, but I don’t think it’s fair,” one Democrat with ties to the commission said.