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Monday, December 20, 2010 - 1:56pm

South Georgia Braces For Census Numbers

The US Census Bureau will release population figures Tuesday that will determine which areas of the country will lose and gain seats in Congress.

The numbers also will affect which parts of the state will lose and gain seats in Georgia's General Assembly.

Some in Southern Georgia worry redistricting will affect politics and economic development.

Transportation projects and agency budgets are just a few issues for which South Georgia lawmakers go to bat for their districts under the Gold Dome.

But after redistricting, there will be fewer South Georgia lawmakers.

Metro Atlanta is expected to gain in population from the last Census.

Garden City State Representative Ron Stephens says, the political reality was presaged by the elections this year of Nathan Deal for Governor, Casey Cagle for Lieutenant Governor and House Speaker David Ralson -- all from North Georgia.

"A lot of the power swing is already moving toward Central and North Georgia," Stephens says. "But I got to tell you, South Georgia, coastal Georgia has traditionally done a very good job holding its own with the representation that we got."

Stephens says, the economic impact of the Georgia ports and tourism should give the coastal area an edge.

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