Political effects of redistricting: DeCesare goes for Senate, others mull their future

01/19/2012 05:16 PM

House Democrats placed three incumbent Republicans into the 17th House District that includes Edmonson and Butler counties and part of Warren. But it looks like only two of them will be facing off against each other in the May 22 primary.

That’s because one of the trio — Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Rockfield — told Pure Politics on Thursday that he will run for the newly-created 27th Senate District that reaches into Warren County to include his home precinct. Some lawmakers already nicknamed that portion of the district “the DeCesare middle finger.”

That district also includes Muhlenberg, Logan, Todd, Simpson and Allen counties.

DeCesare strongly supported Republican Senate President David Williams’ bid last year for governor. He said he spoke to Republican Senators after the House map moved him into a district with two other Republicans, but he said he didn’t ask for a district to be drawn for him.

But it doesn’t mean DeCesare is a lock to win the district. Muhlenberg is heavily Democratic and registration in that district is more than 2-1 in favor of Democrats. Three Democratic state Representatives live in those counties: Reps. Martha Jane King of Todd County, Brent Yonts of Muhlenberg County and Wilson Stone of Simpson County.

Meanwhile, the other two Republicans placed into the 17th House District look to be running against each other. Rep. Michael Meredith, a freshman Republican from Edmonson County, and Rep. C.B. Embry of Butler County, are preparing to square off in the primary, Embry said Thursday.

Embry filed his candidacy papers in November.

  • One potential Democratic candidate for the newly-created 15th state Senate district took herself out of the running.

Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, filed her re-election papers to the 49th House District on Thursday minutes after the House gave final approval to the House and Senate maps.

The new Senate district covers Bullitt and Nelson counties.

Republican Rep. David Floyd of Nelson County filed to run for re-election to stay in the 50th House District in November — long before the new district was created.

  • The Senate and House maps offer some political symmetry in the northeast part of the state. The House map pits an incumbent from the minority party — Rep. Jill York, a Carter County Republican — against a the majority floor leader, Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Democrat from Elliott County.

And the state Senate placed an incumbent from the minority party — Sen. Walter Blevins, a Democrats who calls Morehead home — against the majority floor leader, Sen. Robert Stivers, a Republican from Clay County.

One key difference between the two situations the money disparity. In the 99th House District match-up, Adkins is sitting on a campaign warchest of $203,000 compared to a balance of $0 for York. And in the 25th Senate District match-up, Stivers has $5,463 and Blevins has -$657.63.

In other 2012 election news:

  • Rep. Brent Housman, a Paducah Republican, said he won’t run for a third term in 2012. Housman, 38, first told Paducah media on Wednesday of his decision. He told Pure Politics on Thursday that he didn’t want to spend as much time 300 miles away from his his three children ages 7, 9 and 11.

Housman’s district wasn’t altered much by redistricting. And he didn’t rule out a return to politics.

“I don’t think I’m done yet,” he said.

Housman marks the seventh of the 40 Republicans who will not return to the House next year.

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