Redistricting uncertainty means legislators are imposing more 'candidate taxes' on themselves

02/13/2012 04:07 PM

One consequence of the redistricting confusion that has led to multiple district maps and candidate filing deadline has been that candidates — particularly incumbent lawmakers — have had to file multiple times in some cases.

That means they’ve had to pony up the $200 filing fee multiple times. Six incumbents have forked over that fee three times — and counting.

Of that money, $20 goes to the Secretary of State’s office, whose employees handle the filing process and oversee the elections. The other $180 goes into a so-called “restricted fund,” which legislators can later transfer to the state’s General Fund to cover budget gaps.

“Well, we have to seek all sorts of revenue,” state Rep. David Floyd said facetiously.

Floyd, a Republican from Bardstown, is among those who have filed three times so far. He initially filed for re-election for the 50th state House seat he has represented since 2005. Then, the new state Senate district map created a new 15th District covering Nelson and Bullitt counties. Floyd withdrew from the House race on Jan. 20 and filed for the state Senate seat.

Last week, a judge ruled the new House and Senate maps to be unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to revert back to the old maps.

So Floyd withdrew from the Senate seat that no longer existed and re-filed for his old 50th District.

Others who have thrice filed include:

  • - Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, who filed for re-election for the 10th District, then was redistricted into the 9th District against fellow Republican Rep. Myron Dossett of Pembroke and now is back to running in the old 10th District .

  • - Rep. Martha Jane King, D-Lewisburg, who filed for re-election in the 16th District, then withdrew to file for a newly-drawn 27th Senate District covering Logan, Todd, Muhlenberg, Simpson, Allen and part of Warren. Now she’s running for the 16th House District again.
  • - Rep. Jim Decesare, R-Rockfield, who filed for re-election in the 21st District, then withdrew after the House map placed him in a new 17th District with two other incumbent Republicans. Instead, he filed for that 27th Senate District. Now, he’s back to seeking re-election in the old 21st House District.
  • - Sen. Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, who filed early for re-election to the 35th state Senate District. Then, after the new map changed the district lines, she withdrew to re-file. And once it reverted back to the old map, she withdrew and re-filed again.
  • - Rep. David Osborne, R-Prospect, who filed for re-election to the 59th District, then withdrew after the map was changed and has withdrawn from that to re-file in the old district again. The good news for Osborne is that he is the only one to file for the 59th District.

Another nine incumbent legislators have filed twice for offices so far.

That doesn’t count potential challengers who also have withdrawn and re-filed, such as former Democratic Rep. Dottie Sims, who filed to run in the 53rd District when the new map included her home county of Hart in it. Now that the old maps are back in play, she has withdrawn and refiled for the 19th District.

Combined, the 15 incumbent lawmakers who have turned in their candidacy papers multiple times have forked over a combined $7,200 in filing fees, of which $6,480 goes into that restricted account.

Sure, that won’t alleviate the budget crunch. But the redistricting map case is going to the Supreme Court this week, so there’s still a chance for another set of districts, another filing deadline, and thus, more filing fees.

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