SALEM (AP) — A group of former Republican elected officials have dropped their challenge to new Oregon congressional districts. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the move comes after a judicial panel last week unanimously dismissed a challenge to the new maps pushed through by state Democrats. That means that a new plan that could lead to Democrats holding five of the state’s six U.S. House seats will become operative Jan. 1. Oregon gained an additional U.S. House seat following the latest census. A separate plan for redrawing the state’s 90 state House and Senate seats to reflect population changes was granted final approval by the state Supreme Court earlier in November.