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Morning Sun
  • TOP 10 OF 2012: Redistricting causes stalemate; ends up shifting many borders

  • Technically, the work to redivide the lines of the state’s political puzzle began in 2011. But little was decided until 2012, and not by those who were supposed to decide.

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  • Technically, the work to redivide the lines of the state’s political puzzle began in 2011. But little was decided until 2012, and not by those who were supposed to decide.
    The state House (controlled by the conservative Republicans) and state Senate (then controlled by the moderate Republicans and Democrats) could not agree on any maps for any level of government. Kansas was the only state in the country that could not pass maps for redistricting. That left the decision up to the courts, who posted new maps that dramatically rearranged the state district landscape. Elsewhere in the state, politicians moved over a weekend to get into new districts and set up different political battles.
    On the U.S. House level, Manhattan was moved into the Big First district along with Dodge City, Garden City, Hays and Goodland. Lawrence was moved back into the Second District, which includes Topeka, Leavenworth, Pittsburg and Baxter Springs. The Third District, covering Johnson and Wyandotte County, expanded to include a touch of Miami County. Finally, the Fourth District, centralized around Wichita, expanded to the west, picking up cities as far west as Greensburg.
    Locally, state Rep. Jerry Williams’ district was absorbed because of his retirement. That meant the Second District (Rep.Bob Grant) expanded to include territory in two new counties. Furthermore, state senate district 13 expanded southward to include less of Bourbon County and all of Cherokee County and a touch of Labette County.
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