Divided Is Sometimes Better than United

Two economic development groups are fighting to keep Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, in two separate congressional districts. Thanks to a declining population, Ohio must give up two of its 18 congressional districts. The base currently sits in both the 3rd district, represented by Mike Turner (R-Centerville) and the 7th district, represented by Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek). The Dayton Development Coalition and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Ohio State Senate President Tom Niehaus, and Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, last week after learning of a plan to combine the two districts—something opponents argue will significantly diminish the base’s clout in Congress. “Our congressional delegation works to advance the core mission of WPAFB, grow its workforce, and defend against attempts to transfer missions or functions from Ohio,” they said in the letter, reported by the Dayton Business Journal. The letter also noted that “other states continuously seek to siphon jobs from Wright-Patterson, but have been rebuffed through strong congressional action.” Wright-Patt is home to Air Force Materiel Command, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Institute of Technology, and the National Museum of the Air Force.