Governor signs bill that creates new Congressional district

Governor Nikki Haley signed the reapportionment bill at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach Monday.

"We're here today, and not anywhere else," said Haley, "because the Pee Dee said the seventh belongs to us and not anywhere else."

The bill creates a new 7th district that encompasses the Pee Dee and the Grand Strand. It includes Horry, Georgetown, Marion, Dillon, Marlboro, Darlington and Chesterfield counties. Most of Florence County is included as well, except for Lake City and Olanta.

This is the first time since the 1930's South Carolina will have a seventh Congressional seat in Washington D.C. The additional seat comes after the 2010 Census showed a population increase in South Carolina.

"(This is) not only for the Pee Dee but this is important for South Carolina, because what we are going to do is put another conservative in DC who will fight for us," said Haley.

Another conservative in D.C. is why some state democrats are calling the new district unfair, saying lines were drawn in republican's favor.

"We have a conservative state. Find me a line that is not conservative in South Carolina. The people of South Carolina are conservative by nature. You can go and find a liberal line if you want but drawing it fairly is finding a conservative line."

The U.S. Justice Department.will look over the bill and decide whether it meets the federal Voter's Rights Act.

"The fact that Governor Nikki Haley is here today, and she's signs the plan into law creates a threshold that will be hard for the Justice Department and of the federal courts to overturn which is very important to this area." said State Rep. Thad Viers (R-Horry County).

Viers would not say if he plans to run for the new seat if it is approved.

"We didn't have a whole lot of dust up when it came to redistricting," said Haley. "We had some areas that wanted it more than others. I think in the end we are going to have a state that has great representation."

The seventh Congressional District lines will be used for the June 2012 elections.