Ky.'s 6th District should remain competitive when lines are redrawn, Senator says

05/31/2011 06:33 PM

Kentucky’s 6th congressional district — represented by Democrat Ben Chandler — gets a lot of buzz when it comes to redrawing the districts as a result of the 2010 Census.

Chandler is surrounded by Republican congressmen who would benefit from getting some of his more conservative counties. And Chandler would likely have an easier road to re-election by shedding some of those Republican-leaning counties.

But state Sen. Damon Thayer, a Georgetown Republican who chairs the Senate state and local government committee, said he’s not inclined to break up the 6th District in that way even if it would help fellow Republicans, such as U.S. Reps. Geoff Davis in Northern Kentucky and Hal Rogers in Eastern Kentucky.

“I think there are a lot of people who are interested in seeing this district remain competitive, and that’s my goal moving forward, once we make sure that we follow the law,” Thayer said. (see the 8:00 mark of the clip)

Chandler beat Republican attorney Andy Barr by just 638 votes in the most competitive race in Kentucky last year. Thayer lives in the southern part of Scott County, which is in the 6th District.

Thayer said Barr should run against Chandler again and thinks he will win this time.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s news on that coming out in the very near future,” Thayer said. (see the 8:30 mark of the clip)

Thayer said he’s had preliminary conversations with Kentucky’s national delegation, but said he’s been concentrating on the State Senate map because that’s the area he is tasked with re-drawing.

And Thayer said he’s in no hurry to get to the details of the new map because precinct level numbers aren’t yet available.

He said the process will likely take the better part of the next year.

“We have to follow the law when it comes to redistricting and the Supreme Court decision on one person one vote, that is our first and foremost concern when we’re doing all of redistricting,” Thayer said. “But there always will be a political calculus.” (see the 7:20 mark of the clip)

Thayer also spoke about the proposed Ark Encounters Theme Park that has generated some controversy for getting state tax breaks for a project that could promote religion, depending on how its theme is developed.

Pure Politics previously made mock-ups of potential congressional district maps:

Incumbent Entrenchment Model, Version 1

Incumbent Entrenchment Model, Version 2


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