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Redistrict commish sworn in

OLYMPIA -- The panel that will redraw the state's congressional and legislative district lines was sworn in today, held its first meeting and adjourned without picking its fifth, non-voting chairman or chairwoman.

The four appointees took the oath of office from State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen before heading into their first formal meeting. They didn't mention any names for the top seat, but have another meeting set for Jan. 28.

Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton said later that the nominee for the chairmanship should be known before that next meeting.

The state gets a tenth congressional seat, and all nine of the existing districts have too many people. The state keeps its 49 legislative seats, which have wide variation in population, so many of those lines will be redrawn, also

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.