J. Lo and Ben Affleck were spotted together in Montana, which is set to gain a new House seat in redistricting

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Ben Affleck, left, and Jennifer Lopez, right, are spending time together 17 years after they broke off their high-profile engagement

  • Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, engaged in the early 2000s, were spotted together in Montana.
  • Montana is gaining a seat in Congress after the 2020 census due to its population growth.
  • Like the former A-list couple, Montana will be receiving significant media attention.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Just as are all politics are local, according to a phrase coined by legendary former House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts, all celebrity reunions can be connected in some way to politics.

Another well-known Massachusetts-raised celebrity, actor and director Ben Affleck, is reportedly rekindling a decades-old romance with fellow A-list actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, to whom he was engaged in 2003.

Page Six reported on April 30 that Affleck and Lopez, who recently split from former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, have been spending time together at Lopez’s Los Angeles home.

And on Monday, People Magazine and the Daily Mail reported that the two stars were seen on a getaway in Montana, where Affleck reportedly owns a ski house at the exclusive Yellowstone Club. The two were photographed in an SUV driving from the airport.

“[Jennifer] spent several days with Ben out of town. They have a strong connection. It’s all been quick and intense, but Jennifer is happy,” a source close to the couple told People.

Just like Affleck’s and Lopez’s romance, The Big Sky State will also be the subject of close scrutiny by the media in the coming months.

Montana is one of seven states that will gain one or more US House seats as a result of the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau announced on April 26.

The Constitution requires an official count of the US population once a decade. After the census counts are finalized, states are tasked with redrawing their congressional districts, a process known as redistricting, to adjust for the population changes. Each state is subject to gain and lose seats based on how fast their population increased or decreased relative to the other 49 US states.

Montana, currently an at-large district with just one representative, saw its population grow by 9.6% over the past decade. As a result, the state will gain another district to have two representatives in Washington for the first time in 30 years, according to the Montana Free Press.

The biggest winner in redistricting is Texas, which will gain two House seats. Along with Montana, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon will all gain one US House seat each.

Affleck and Lopez first met two redistricting cycles ago in 2001 on the set of the film “Gigli,” according to a Popsugar timeline of their relationship, and started dating after Lopez ended her marriage with ex-husband Cris Judd, according to Lopez.

The couple, affectionately dubbed “Bennifer,” was a tabloid sensation in the early 2000s. The two also co-starred in “Jersey Girl,” and publicly announced their engagement in November of 2002. Affleck even appeared in Lopez’s iconic “Jenny from the Block” music video.

After announcing they would postpone their planned September 2003 nuptials due to the “excessive media attention surrounding our wedding,” the pair formally split in January 2004.

Shortly after, Lopez got together with Marc Anthony, who she married in 2004 and separated from in 2011. The two share twins, Max and Emme.

In 2005, Affleck married actress Jennifer Garner, with whom he had a decade-long marriage and three children. Affleck and Garner separated in 2015 and finalized their divorce in 2018. Affleck was most recently linked acttress Ana de Armas. The two broke up in January 2021.

Most recently, Lopez dated Rodriguez for four years and was engaged to the former athlete for two. The pair formally announced their breakup on April 15, nearly three months after Rodriguez accompanied Lopez for her performance of the national anthem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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New York could have kept a House seat if just 89 more people had been counted in the 2020 census

US Census briefing
The US Census Bureau unveiled which states will gain and lose House seats after the 2020 census

  • New York lost a US House seat by just 89 people, Census Bureau officials revealed Monday.
  • Had 89 more people filled out the Census, the state would have been spared from losing the seat.
  • Minnesota was able to get the 435th House seat and keep all 8 of its districts because of New York.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York could’ve retained one House seat if just 89 more people in the state had filled out the 2020 census, officials revealed Monday.

On Monday, the US Census Bureau unveiled its long-awaited population counts and apportionment figures from the census that determine how many House seats states gained and lost.

Federal law requires the House to have 435 seats that each represent the exact same number of people – just over 760,000 – to satisfy the principle of one person, one vote. This means that states are subject to lose or gain House seats based on changes to their population – and as New York’s experience shows, every completed census form makes a difference.

“What we have is that if New York had had 89 more people, they would have received one more seat instead of the last state that received their last seat,” Kristin Koslap, a senior technical expert for the 2020 Census Apportionment Division, said at a Monday news conference.

“There are 435 seats, so the last seat went to Minnesota, and New York was next in line. And if you do the algebra equation that determines how many they would have needed, it’s 89 people. But that’s if you hold the population of all other states, constant,” she added.

Read more: The great migration of 2020: People from New York and California moved in droves this year – here are the states that benefited from the mass exodus, from Idaho to Texas

Texas came out of the 2020 census as the biggest winner in reapportionment, gaining two House seats. Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Montana, and Oregon will all each gain one seat.

Meanwhile, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all lost one House seat each.

Alabama, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, which were all projected to lose a seat, didn’t lose any – and Minnesota is able to keep its eight House seats thanks to New York falling short.

Koslap explained, however, that because of the system the Census Bureau uses to determine which state gets the 435th seat, it’s not unheard if for just a few hundred or dozen people to make or break a state’s fortunes.

“It’s part of the standard of the method of equal proportions is that it all depends on the overall proportion of all the states within the nation. And so … it’s not unusual for there to be a small margin like that,” she said.

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