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Bipartisan Panel Chairman Likely To Be Tie-Breaker In NJ Redistricting

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- The chairman of a bipartisan panel redrawing New Jersey's congressional districts says he'll likely be the tie-breaker when a formal vote is taken Friday.

Chairman John Farmer Jr., who is the Rutgers Law School dean, says Republicans and Democrats are likely to remain divided.  He says significant differences remain as to how to whittle the state's congressional delegation from 13 members to 12.

Democrats submitted a final proposal that would pit incumbent Democrat Steve Rothman against incumbent Republican Scott Garrett in 2012. The GOP plan is not yet clear.

A person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press the Democrats' proposed district in northern New Jersey is evenly divided between the parties. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak on behalf of the redistricting commission.

The panel must eliminate one seat in New Jersey's 13-member congressional delegation because the state lost population.

Chairman John Farmer Jr. is expected to choose a new map Thursday.

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(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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