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Morning Sun
  • First House redistricting map emerges

  • After months of research, preparation, comparisons and simple math, the House Redistricting Committee put forward its first, but not yet final, map of new House districts on Monday.

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  • After months of research, preparation, comparisons and simple math, the House Redistricting Committee put forward its first, but not yet final, map of new House districts on Monday.
    The committee established rules for itself before creating the map. Those rules included a target population for each district between 21,581 and 23,851 restidents, as well as attempting to avoid “standoffs” between incumbents wherever possible.
    Under the map, the Eighth District of Rep. Jerry Williams (D-Chanute) has been eliminated from Southeast Kansas. His territory has been absorbed by the 13th District of Rep. Forrest Knox (R-Altoona) and the Second District of Rep. Bob Grant (D-Frontenac).
    Also in the map is a different Third District, represented by Rep. Terry Calloway (R-Pittsburg). A district that once contained just Pittsburg and Chicopee would now contain Pittsburg, Beulah and most significantly, Girard.
    Rep. Caryn Tyson (R-Parker), whose Fourth District grew to the north what it lost in the south part of Bourbon County, said she was unsure why Girard had been placed with Pittsburg into the Third District. She said Knox had played a large part in putting together this portion of the map.
    Grant said the change in the Third District could mean more not now, but down the line.
    “If Pittsburg stays small and compact, they can grow from within and it helps the rest of Southeast Kansas get more districts back,” Grant said. “By jumping out there, in 10 years, you’ll have to redo it. I told the Speaker [of the House] that I’d prefer Terry to take Baker and Opolis townships. Terry’d take those, and it’d still give him plenty of room to grow, and lets us absorb what’s in the rest of Southeast Kansas.”
    Monday’s committee meeting was the first time many had seen the map, and Tyson said she thought the process went smoothly.
    “The meeting was pretty cordial today,” she said. “The Minority Leader — Paul Davis — he and the Speaker were in agreement they came together on this plan.
    Both parties came to an agreement. There are no races in the House between incumbents.”
    Grant said that although he would rather have seen a different Third District, overall the map was one he could live with.
    “If this is the way it’s going to be, I’m happy with what I get,” Grant said. “I don’t like picking up half of Neosho County, but it has to be done. Those plats in Williams’ district have to be picked up.”
    A public hearing will be held Wednesday at noon, and those with questions and concerns for the committee may be added to the agenda if given 24 hours notice.
    Interested parties must call either the Speaker of the House’s office or the Kansas Legislative Research Department.
    Page 2 of 2 - Proposed Local House Districts
    District 1 — Rep. Doug Gatewood
    Cherokee County
    Population 21,659
    District 2— Rep. Bob Grant
    Half of Neosho County, southern Bourbon County, and Crawford County not including Girard, Beulah or Pittsburg
    Population 21,887
    District 3 — Rep. Terry Calloway
    Pittsburg, Girard and Beulah
    Population 23,303
    District 4 —Rep. Caryn Tyson
    Linn County, most of Bourbon County, southeastern Miami County
    Population 22,519
    District 7 — Rep. Richard Proehl
    Labette County
    Population 21,688
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