Congressional redistricting making waves in Mid-Missouri
Thu, 31 Mar 2011 22:50:51 GMT —
Officials in Cole County are not happy about the recently released Missouri Congressional redistricting map.Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger said the county is getting a raw deal in the new redistricting. He believes Cole County TMs needs and influence would take a back seat to those in Metro St. Louis.The redistricting happened after Missouri TMs population decreased enough to lose one congressional seat. The current map would condense St. Louis TM three congressional seats into two " a move that does not make St. Louis residents happy.Committee members said their move is justified.We looked at the population loss in the city, said Rep. Michael Brown, (D) Kansas City. Those numbers are there. They TMre clear.The new plan also makes big changes to Mid-Missouri " an area that has remained congressionally consistent for decades.One of the biggest changes is the district in which Cole County sits. For decades, it has been in Ike Skelton TMs congressional district. After the 2010 election, it sat in freshman Representative Vicki Hartzler TMs territory. Not so anymore, if this plan is approved. We know there TMs going to be a lot of shifting in lines, Hartzler said Monday before the map was released. All I can say is we love Cole County and I hope I have the opportunity to serve it in the future.Hartzler does pick up an additional county, though " Boone County. There, the partisan balance is not in Hartzler TMs favor.Cole County, however, would turn east and become part of the new third congressional district. The district includes suburban St. Louis " Jefferson and St. Charles Counties. It TMs a move that concerns Ellinger.Those two counties do not have the same commonality of interests as the center of the state, he said.Rep. John Diehl, (R) Town and Country, said his committee looked at the best ways to maintain geographical continuity and population balance before drawing the planned map. He said it was a challenge to find a way to make both requirements work in Missouri.But the committee is prepared to look at changes as long as it also meets the requirements.When you change one thing on a map, it affects many other districts, Diehl said.Rep. Ron Casey, (D) Crystal City said Democrats are ready to offer changes.Mr. Chairman, I believe we will be prepared to submit a substitute amendment to you, he said.Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, where committee members could vote on the final map.Rep. John Diehl talked to reporters about the proposed redistricting map after Wednesday's meeting.