GOP map clears Senate

Kansas Republicans passed a redistricting map that will make it harder for the state's only Democrat in Congress to win reelection this year. It now goes to the House, where Republicans are backing an almost identical plan.

By

State News

January 24, 2022 - 9:35 AM

Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes called the Republican-backed map a power grab and proposed an amendment that maintained Wyandotte County and Lawrence but split Johnson County. Most GOP senators opposed any map that broke up Johnson County. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans used their supermajority Friday to win Kansas Senate approval for a redistricting plan that likely would make it harder for the state’s only Democrat in Congress to win reelection this year.

The nearly four-hour debate ahead of the Senate’s 26-9 vote previewed the arguments that attorneys for both parties may use during an expected court challenge over any new lines. The bill goes next to the House, where top Republicans are backing an almost identical plan. 

Both proposals would equalize the population among the state’s four congressional districts by carving thousands of Democratic voters out of the Kansas City-area district held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids. Both also would put Lawrence, known for its liberal politics and home to the main University of Kansas campus, at the far eastern edge of an expanded central and western Kansas district, rather than keeping it in an eastern Kansas district. 

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