House Republican leaders are offering a legislative redistricting plan that would force eight incumbents to run against each other next year.
The map unveiled today by House GOP Leader Jeff Hoover affects four Republicans and four Democratic lawmakers. Hoover says the GOP plan is very different from a plan put forth earlier this year by Democrats that had nine Republicans running against each other but no Democrats.
Gov. Steve Beshear said a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to redraw legislative districts for the House and Senate is likely to happen this fall. He said details are still being worked out.
“I’m talking with legislative leaders in the House and Senate right now and I think everybody, if we can work it out, would probably like to do it in the fall,” Beshear said. “And let everybody have the summer while kids are out of school and they have some vacation time, and then wait until we get back in school before we have the special session.”
Kentucky House lawmakers are moving forward with redistricting, despite hesitation from the Senate and pleas from the governor to focus on other issues.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says the regional caucuses are still working on drawing new maps of their districts. And the main holdup is in Eastern Kentucky, where the 2010 Census showed large drops in population. Despite those issues, Stumbo says he wants to finish redistricting this session.
"Our caucus voted to move forward on redistricting and I didn't look at every hand but it looked like it was a pretty unanimous vote so Democrats in the House want to move on this issue," he said.
Kentucky lawmakers are at odds on whether to postpone redistricting for a year to avoid gumming up an upcoming legislative session that's already chock-full of hefty issues. Incoming Republican Senate President Robert Stivers says there’s no rushed to redraw legislative boundaries because the next round of elections isn't until 2014. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo wants the process over as quickly as possible after the session convenes Jan. 8.
Democrats in Illinois literally mapped out their victories in the state's hotly contested congressional races. The party won most of the big prizes in districts that had been redrawn to squeeze Republicans out of their districts or throw them into Democrat-friendly territory.
Following this year’s redistricting process in Tennessee, at least four former state lawmakers are trying to regain their seats in the legislature, while eight Democratic incumbents will be vying for four seats. Former Democratic Representatives Mark Maddox and Jim Hackworth will run for the seats they lost to Republicans in 2010. Also looking to return are Republican Susan Lynn who gave up her House seat for an unsuccessful Senate bid, and Mike Williams, who lost his Senate re-election bid in 2008.
A Kentucky Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that calls for a constitutional amendment to allow lawmakers to divide more counties during redistricting. Bill sponsor Robert Stivers says limits on that complicated the redistricting process this year. Federal law requires that districts be nearly equal in population. But legislators say it's hard to meet that requirement as well as a state requirement to divide as few counties as possible. If approved, the bill would apply to redistricting following the 2020 Census.