House expected to send suggested congressional map to Senate on Friday

01/05/2012 10:56 PM

The House is set to vote Friday on a redrawn congressional map that would split seven counties and would shift several cities into new districts.

The House state government gave its approval to a congressional map similar to the one House Speaker Greg Stumbo unveiled in November. That approach would make the 1st and 5th congressional districts more competitive for Democrats to pick-up and the 2nd and 4th districts more secure for Republicans, according to a Pure Politics analysis.

For instance, it would move Ashland and Boyd County, as well as surrounding counties of Carter and Greenup, from the 4th District to the 5th District.

And Owensboro and Daviess County would move from the 2nd to the 1st District in western Kentucky.

Meanwhile, the 2nd District, represented by two-term U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie would reach deep into the conservative south-central area of the state, including part of Pulaski County — the home county of 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers, the U.S. House Appropriations Chairman.

In order to get the population numbers nearly even among the six districts, the map splits the following counties:

  • Allen County (between the 1st and 2nd districts)
  • Jessamine County (between the 2nd and 6th districts)
  • Pulaski County (between the 2nd and 5th districts)
  • Whitley County (between the 2nd and 5th districts)
  • Bullitt County (between the 2nd and 4th districts)
  • Scott County (between the 4th and 6th districts)
  • Jefferson County, which is the only one with more people than the 723,228 constituents in the ideal congressional district. But instead of being the 3rd District and a small part in the 2nd District, this map has part going to the 4th District.

Some House members, including Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, expressed some concern about splitting of their counties. But Belcher voted the map out of committee anyway.

But the map will likely get changed in the Senate.

Senate State Government Committee Chairman Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, has proposed his own map.

He and Guthrie have voiced opposition to moving Owensboro from the 2nd District. And Thayer says he doesn’t want Scott County to be split between the 4th and 6th districts as it is now.

Meanwhile, the suggested state Senate and House maps have not yet become public.

House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover told Pure Politics on Thursday that GOP caucus members haven’t yet seen the Democratic majority’s drafts but that they are bracing for some incumbent Republicans to get placed in the same districts with each other —- something they will try to fight.

Senate Democrats are bracing for the same result with that chamber’s map.

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