Familiar political veterans appointed to state redistricting commission

Former U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (left) and former state Sen. Lyle Hillyard (right) are members of the 2021 Utah Independent Redistricting Commission. That panel has scheduled an Oct. 16 public hearing on the campus of Utah State University.

SALT LAKE CITY – Two familiar Northern Utah political figures have been appointed to the 2021 Utah Independent Redistricting Commission.

The appointments of former U.S. Rep Rob Bishop and former state Sen. Lyle Hillyard to the redistricting panel was announced by Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and Utah Senate President Stuart Adams respectively.

The bipartisan commission was established by a 2018 ballot initiative as an alternative to unilateral gerrymandering in the drawing of district boundaries for Congress, state school districts and the Utah legislature.

The pair will join five other members on the panel: a chairman appointed by Gov. Spencer Cox; two Democrats appointed by the minority leaders of the Utah House and Senate; and two unaffiliated appointees.

Those additional members of the commission will be Chair Rex Facer, a professor at BYU; Democrat appointees Christine Durham, a former Utah Supreme Court judge and Pat Jones, a former state Senate minority leader; and neutral appointees N. Jeffrey Baker and William Thorne Jr., a former Utah appellate court judge.

Although the redistricting commission will likely begin holding public meetings throughout the state, U.S. Census officials are projecting that the population data required to begin drawing new district boundaries will not be available until sometime after April 30 due to delays caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Bishop recently retired from Congress after 18 years representing Utah’s 1st District in Washington, D.C. He succeeded former Sen. Orrin Hatch as the most senior member of the Utah congressional delegation in 2019.

Prior to his election to Congress, Bishop served in the state Legislature from 1978 to 1994, including two years as speaker of the Utah House. He unsuccessfully campaigned as a candidate for lieutenant governor in 2020.

A resident of Logan, Hillyard is an attorney who served 39 years in the Legislature, first in the Utah House from 1981 to 1984 and then in the Senate 1985 to 2020, where he represented Cache and Rich counties.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.