Governor signs into law new congressional map; some GOP congressional candidates not happy

02/10/2012 04:38 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear agreed to sign into law the map of the six new congressional districts on Friday, which would set Feb. 17 as the new candidate filing deadline for those districts.

“I’m signing this bill today to provide certainty to this process so candidates can file for office,” Beshear said in a statement. “Redistricting is always a partisan process, and no redistricting plan will please everybody.”

And this one didn’t.

Republican Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington of Fort Wright is one of five Republicans running for the GOP nomination for the 4th Congressional District, which is an open seat because Republican U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis isn’t running for a fifth term.

Webb-Edgington was among the 26 representatives to vote against the bill with the new map, calling it “drawn in the interest of partisan gamesmanship.”

“I am also deeply disappointed that the redistricting process, which will have major political implications over the next decade, was conducted largely behind closed doors,” she said in a statement. “While I am happy to run in and hope to represent all areas in the newly drawn 4th District, I object to the less than transparent process and clearly partisan political motivations that produced the new districts. Kentuckians are sick and tired of this type of partisanship and rightfully expect more of their elected leaders.”

The new 4th District picks up Shelby County and part of Spencer County, as well as conservative-leaning precincts in Eastern Jefferson County. It will lose Carter and Elliot Counties and southern Boyd County to the 5th District and Fleming, Robertson, Nicholas, the northern part of Scott County, the northern part of Bath County and southern Harrison County to the 6th District.

Andy Barr, the favored Republican in the 6th District GOP primary, had been lobbying for a district that kept Mercer, Boyle and Garrard counties and all of Jessamine in the 6th District and didn’t spread northeast.

He accused Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Versailles of turning “his back on tens of thousands of his own constituents by cutting a backroom deal to get rid of them.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo had said Chandler was “satisfied” with the end product but that all sides — including Republican U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers and Brett Guthrie — made sacrifices while negotiating the compromise map.

Barr pledged to bring his message as a candidate to “the many new voters of the 6th District and offering a better, more hopeful alternative.”

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