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Republicans Happy With Redistricting

December 13, 2001
By: Nicholas Rummell
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Five state House districts would share Boone County under the state legislative redistrict plan unveiled by a panel of judges Thursday.

As of now, three of those districts would be contained wholly in Boone County -- the 23rd, 24th and 25th districts now held by Democrats Tim Harlan, Chuck Graham and Vicky Riback-Wilson. Two other districts would pick up portions of northern Boone County.

Ashland, which had been split under some proposed plans, would remain totally in Graham's district that would have a more southern Boone County focus.

For the Senate, the 19th district now held by Democrat Ken Jacob would lose Howard County, leaving just Boone and Randolph Counties in the district.

Rep. Vicky Riback-Wilson, D-Columbia, refrained to comment on the redistricting until see saw a more detailed map of Columbia's new district lines.

Columbia's other legislators were unavailable.

Republican leadership in both the Senate and the House reacted positively to the redistricting results.

Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder stated in a press release after the announcement that he was pleased with the results.

"We have felt confident all along that the population and demographic shifts in Missouri favor the Republican Party," he said.

But the House's GOP leader, Catherine Hanaway, said that the redistricting was evenhanded, and gave "fair and equal opportunity for all parties to have influence."

On the Democratic side, the top staffer to the Senate Democratic Leader, Sen. Ed Quick, said they needed more time to review the maps.

While the Senate redistricting map was signed unanimously by all six judges, only four judges signed the House map.

Judge Robert Ulrich, Chair of the Missouri Appellate Apportionment Commission, declined to comment on the reason for dissent or on the map-signing procedure.

However, Ulrich said all the signatories were confident that the final maps met all the constitutional requirements, such as keeping each district's population equal.

The Commission was appointed by the state Supreme Court after bipartisan citizen apportionment commissions failed to reach agreement on new district lines September.

The revised districts will take effect for primary and general elections next year.

Redistricting is done every ten years following the census.