The Kansas House agreed Wednesday to make a final vote on a Congressional redistricting plan that would move the eastern half of Topeka into the same district as rural western Kansas.

The Kansas House agreed Wednesday to make a final vote on a Congressional redistricting plan that would move the eastern half of Topeka into the same district as rural western Kansas.

The 77-43 vote means that the map, nicknamed “Bob Dole 1,” will face its last vote Thursday to move the map out of the House and to the Senate, which has already passed its own map that keeps Topeka whole and instead moves Manhattan into the western First District.

The House map, Bob Dole 1, passed through the House Redistricting Committee on Monday on a 12-11 vote with the tie-breaking vote by Speaker Mike O’Neal. The map pulls in Marshall, Washington, Republic, Cloud, Ottawa, Clay, Nemaha, Geary and Wabaunsee counties into the Second District. The First District would add Osage, Greenwood and roughly the eastern half of Shawnee County (Topeka).

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who represents the Second District, is a Topeka resident and would remain in the Second under the new map, although she would lose much of her hometown.

Two local House representatives are also members of the House Redistricting Committee. State Rep. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, voted for the plan to move out of committee, and said she supported Bob Dole 1.

“So far, it’s one of the better maps as far as compactness,” Tyson said. “One of the goals is to keep districts as much intact as possible. As it is, this map is one of the more successful. Is it the best map to put forward? It’s probably the best one to pass the Chamber.”

She further said the Topeka-splitting map “wasn’t my favorite map, but it’s a map that works.” She also added that Bob Dole 1 leaves three counties split among districts. The current redistricting map splits four.

Rep. Bob Grant, D-Frontenac, voted against Bob Dole 1. He doesn’t believe the House should be splitting one of the most important cities in the state into two districts. He said that during the redistricting of the state House seats, he was told that county seats should not be split. Now, he sees that same guideline being violated with a “first-class city.”

“We had one map that went down, and one that went back up. The Speaker had a map, and he wants to leave his imprint on the next 10 years,” Grant said. “It’ll be one of his maps or no map. It’s looking like no map, but nonetheless, this one passes through.”

Specifically, Grant foresees a problem in getting Bob Dole 1 through the state Senate. Namely, that the Senate has already seen a map almost identical to Bob Dole 1 (the “34th Great State” map) and voted it down, 17-23.

Grant said that amendments may make the difference in the bill passing through the Senate. If it does, then the differences in the House and Senate maps would be ironed out in committee. However, if the Senate rejects Bob Dole 1, then redistricting may end up in the hands of a federal court.

For more on the redistricting process and a look at the proposed maps and plans, visit http://redistricting.ks.gov.

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.