Winners and losers in House's controversial redistricting plan that passed 53-46

03/06/2013 04:31 PM

UPDATED 6:35 p.m. — Despite grumblings among some Democrats and uniform opposition from Republicans, the House approved a new redistricting map 53-46.

All 45 Republicans and one Democrat — Rep. Mike Denham of Maysville — opposed it.

The map was controversial enough that before a planned vote on the House floor on Wednesday, the majority Democratic caucus retreated to the Supreme Court chamber for a caucus meeting that started at 3:06 and went until 4:30. Then the debate over the bill on the House floor lasted another an hour and a half.

The complaints generally fell into two camps. Some don’t like the districts they’ve been drawn into, including Denham (see the breakdown below). And many Republicans objected to changes to the map made with population numbers, specifically federal prisoners .

Others saw a missed opportunity.

“I was really hoping for a new district in the western part of Fayette County that could really empower” Lexington’s growing latino population, said Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington.

The once-a-decade redistricting process, the very personal and political of legislative requirements, only confirms that for every action, there’s a consequence.

One of the most interesting match-ups is the 99th District, which is the only one that will pit an incumbent Republican against an incumbent Democrat. In this district, Republican Rep. Jill York gets the short end, getting put in with House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins. But Adkins, even though he would have to face an incumbent, gets to run for a 15th term in a district that includes Elliott County where he grew up and much of Boyd County where he lives now, as well as York’s home county of Carter.

Here’s a rundown of the other 99 districts and who fared well and who didn’t:

WINNERS

Kelly Whitaker
1st District (NEW) — This district has Whitaker’s name written all over it. The former Democratic House candidate lost the November election to Republican Rep. Richard Heath, R-Mayfield. But her hometown of Lowes in northwestern Graves County was placed in the new district that includes the four Mississippi River counties that are heavy on Democratic registered voters.

Rep. Terry Mills
24th District (incumbent Democrat) — Mills of Lebanon will keep Marion County but would trade Republican-heavy precincts in Pulaski County and Casey County for LaRue and Green counties to give him a little more breathing room.

Rep. Sannie Overly
72nd District (incumbent Democrat) — Under this map, Overly, the House Democratic caucus chairman, would run in a district that picks up a few more northern Fayette County precincts. It keeps Bourbon and Nicholas counties but trades Bath County, which has been trending more Republican in recent elections, in exchange for the more reliably Democratic Fleming County.

Rep. Kim King
55th District (incumbent Republican) — Instead of getting put into a district with another Republican incumbent as she did last year, King of Harrodsburg now would run in a comfortable district anchored by her home of Mercer County and adding Washington County and conservative precincts in western Jessamine County including the city of Wilmore.

Rep. Brian Linder
61st District (incumbent Republican) — Linder of Dry Ridge would officially join the Northern Kentucky caucus by shedding Owen and Gallatin counties from his current district. He would pick up eastern Campbell County and southern Kenton County precincts given up by Rep. Adam Koenig’s 69th District, as well the southern tip of Boone County from Rep. Sal Santoro’s 60th District.

Rep. Tim Couch
90th District (incumbent Republican) – Couch of Hyden would pick up eastern Laurel County to add to Clay and Leslie counties and it would lose the piece of Harlan County currently in the district.

Rep. John Short
92nd District (incumbent Democrat) – Short of Hindman represents this district that would keep Knott and Magoffin counties and add Breathitt County. Short should be happy about that considering Breathitt contains more than 10,000 registered Democrats compared to 903 Republicans. The district gives up a piece of Letcher County from the current map.

Rep. Leslie Combs
94th District (incumbent Democrat) – This would be the least populated district in the state, about five percent below the ideal district of roughly 43,300. This seat, held by Combs of Pikeville, would represent those in western Pike County including much of Pikeville plus all of Letcher County and a tiny piece of Harlan County — allowing Combs to stay largely in the district she has now.

Rep. Myron Dossett
9th District (incumbent Republican) — Dossett of Pembroke has the more rural eastern and western portions of Christian County and all of Trigg County, which should continue to be a comfortable district for a Republican.

LOSING OUT: The map places incumbent Republicans against each other in five districts. But members of the minority caucus aren’t the only ones to see substantial changes to their districts that could jeopardize their political future — or at least make re-election more difficult.

2nd District (2 Republicans) — The newly-drawn 2nd District would pit Republican Reps. Steven Rudy of West Paducah and Rep. Richard Heath, the freshman from Mayfield, against each other. It includes southern McCracken and eastern Graves counties plus all of Livingston County.

5th District (2 Republicans) — Freshman Republican Rep. Lynn Bechler’s home county of Crittenden, along with Caldwell County, was drawn into the same district with Madisonville where GOP Rep. Ben Waide lives.

17th District (3 Republicans) — It places Edmonson County, home of Rep. Michael Meredith of Brownsville, with Butler County, home of Rep. C.B. Embry of Morgantown, and reaches into Warren County to swallow up the Rockfield neighborhood where Rep. Jim DeCesare lives.

89th District (2 Republicans) — Rep. Marie Rader of McKee has held this district, which included Jackson and Owsley counties and part of central Laurel County. This plan, though would expand the district, to add Lee County, the home of freshman Rep. Toby Herald of Beattyville.

91st District (2 Republicans) – This smushes together the home counties of Rep. Mike Harmon (Boyle County) and freshman Republican Rep. Jonathan Shell of Lancaster (Garrard County). This isn’t new for Harmon. In last year’s map, Harmon was drawn into a district with Kim King. Boyle County has more voters than Garrard County.

Rep. Mike Denham
70th District (incumbent Democrat) — Denham of Maysville doesn’t appear happy about the changes, as evidenced by his “no comment” to Ronnie Ellis of CNHI News Service. His district would keep his home county of Mason and Bracken County and add Robertson and Lewis counties.

Rep. Richard Henderson
74th District (incumbent Democrat) – Henderson of Jeffersonville first won this seat in 2006, winning a seven-candidate Democratic primary without finishing first in any one of the three counties, which at the time were Montgomery, Powell and part of Wolfe counties. Under the new district, only Montgomery would remain. The district picks up Bath and Menifee counties.

Rep. Kevin Sinnette
100th District (incumbent Democrat) – It’s currently a compact district in northern Boyd County that includes Ashland. Under the plan, it gives many of those Ashland-area precincts to the 99th District where Adkins and York will be slugging it out. That leaves Sinnette to run for re-election in a district that includes just a crust of Boyd County and all of Lawrence County, which is more closely split between Democrats and Republicans.

OTHER NEW DISTRICTS:

19th District (NEW) — The new map opens up a district covering the northern half of Warren County. This should be a competitive district.

36th District (NEW) — House mapmakers created a similar new district in last year’s attempt at redistricting. It cover the eastern precincts of the county and should favor Republicans.

88th District (NEW) — This district that stretches around southern and eastern Lexington along Man o’ War Boulevard should be a competitive district but could favor Republicans — someone like Republican National Committeewoman K.C. Crosbie, the former Lexington Urban County Councillwoman.

49th District (NEW) — The open district covers most of eastern Bullitt County, which should favor Republicans.

54th District (NEW) — This new district should be a competitive swing district with Anderson County, Spencer County and the eastern edge of Bullitt County.

96th District (NEW) – With growth in Madison County and the parsing up of two other districts, a new district is formed from eastern Madison County and all of Estill and Powell counties. With Estill County – a majority Republican county in registration — it could give an advantage to Republicans.

OTHER DISTRICTS THAT CHANGED:

4th District (incumbent Republican) — Murray Republican Rep. Kenny Imes, who returned this year to the House where he served in the 1970s as a Democrat, will be in a district that keeps Calloway County and picks up southern Graves County. It will no longer spread east to Trigg County, which has become more reliably Republican.

6th District (incumbent Republican) — The center of the district, represented by Democratic Rep. Will Coursey of Benton, remains Marshall and Lyon counties, but it trades precincts in McCracken County in exchange for new precincts in Graves County.

7th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis won re-election by five votes last fall in a district that remains largely the same with Union County and parts of Henderson and Daviess counties, although it now sweeps more into Owensboro and picks up more precincts in western Henderson County.

8th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. John Tilley will lose the Trigg County precincts he has represented and instead has a district of Northern Christian County and most of Hopkinsville.

10th District (incumbent Republican) — The district number changes for this one, which includes Hancock, Breckinridge and part of western Hardin County. But it’s still the home district of Republican incumbent Rep. Dwight Butler of Harned. The district actually might favor Democrats on paper — if anyone other than Butler was running on the Republican side. The big changes are that the district sheds precincts in eastern Daviess County and no longer stretches into Bullitt County.

18th District (incumbent Republican) — The area of eastern Hardin County and the section of Elizabethtown where Rep. Tim Moore lives will be combined with Grayson County to the south. (Moore’s district currently is the 26th District).

21st District (incumbent Republican) — This district, which currently is the 53rd District represented by Rep. Bart Rowland of Tompkinsville, keeps Monroe and Metcalfe counties but spreads north to pick up Hart County and southern Hardin County. It sheds Cumberland and Green counties.

26th District (incumbent Republican) — With the population growth in Bullitt County over the last decade, there would be some significant shifts in its representation. This district will cover the eastern portion of the county and dip into Shepherdsville to pick up the area where freshman Republican Rep. Russell Webber lives.

27th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Jeff Greer of Brandenburg has had two straight squeaker elections. But in this district, he would only have to worry about Meade County and the very tip of Hardin County — no more Bullitt County precincts.

39th District — With Jessamine County growing, Rep. Bob Damron now would be running in just the southeastern two-thirds of the county — a section that includes Nicholsville. The district keeps a small slice of Fayette County but sheds the more conservative precincts in western Jessamine County, including Wimore.

80th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Robert Benvenuti currently lives in the portion of southern Fayette County that will be in this district. It also will stretch into northern Madison County and around the western county line to pick up all of Rockcastle County in the south.

56th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Carl Rollins of Midway currently represents Woodford County plus western Fayette County and the eastern one-third of Franklin County. Under the plan, he’ll lose some precincts in northern Franklin County and gives up some western Fayette County precincts to the 45th District while picking up some others in Fayette County — as well as some of southern Scott County — that had been part of the 62nd District.

47th District (incumbent Democrat) — The district essentially becomes a northern Ohio River district with Trimble, Carroll and now Gallatin County. The district, represented by Rep. Rick Rand of Bedford, also keeps Henry County. In exchange for adding Gallatin County, it sheds precincts in Oldham County.

50th District (incumbent Republican) — It’s now a one-county district. The 50th would shed precincts in Bullitt and Spencer counties making it an easier and more compact district for Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown.

53rd District (incumbent Republican) — Freshman Rep. David Meade of Stanford will keep Lincoln County and part of northern Pulaski County but loses Rockcastle County and gains Casey County.

58th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Brad Montell of Shelbyville will keep all of Shelby County but now the district spreads into southern Oldham County.

59th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. David Osborne of Prospect still would run in a district that covers most of Oldham County.

60th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Sal Santoro currently represents the most populous district in the state that covers most of Boone County. Under the new map, he’ll give up some of the northern and southern precincts in the county.

66th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Addia Wuchner’s district will still cover much of northern Boone County and dip into Florence, where she lives.

63rd District (incumbent Republican) — This district, currently represented by Rep. Diane St. Onge of Lakeside Park, used to be concentrated in northern Kenton County and now bleeds over into part of Boone County including the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

69th District (incumbent Republican) — This is probably the most substantially redrawn district in the region. It would go from a fish-hook shaped district that dipped into Boone County and stretched around the border of Kenton County to pick up eastern Campbell County and Alexandria to a compact district that straddles the border of central Boone and Kenton counties. Rep. Adam Koenig would keep Erlanger, Elsmere and add part of Florence.

65th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Arnold Simpson’s district picked up a few precincts to the south of Covington to add the population the district needed.

67th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Dennis Keene’s district would spread from Wilder and Bellevue along the river in Campbell County to include other river towns like Silver Grove and Melbourne.

68th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Joe Fischer’s district would cover Republican areas in in Fort Thomas south through much of Campbell County and add rural precincts in the southern part of the county given up by the 78th District.

62nd District (incumbent Republican) — The second most populous district currently would give up its Fayette County precincts and parts of eastern Scott County to the 78th District and southern Scott County to the 56th District. Republican Rep. Ryan Quarles will still have most of Scott County and will add Owen County.

71st District (incumbent Democrat) – Rep. John Will Stacy would keep Rowan and Morgan counties and would pick up the rest of Wolfe County to have the whole county. The district would lose Menifee County.

78th District (incumbent Democrat) – This district would shed Robertson County to the 70th District and southern Campbell County precincts to the 68th District. This seat, currently held by Rep. Tom McKee, keeps Harrison and Pendleton counties but would spread southwest into Scott County.

81st District (incumbent Democrat) – Rep. Rita Smart’s district would shrink to essentially include Richmond and its surrounding area in central Madison County.

83rd District (incumbent Republican) – House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover’s district will add Cumberland County to the district that already included Russell, Clinton and part of Pulaski. Unlike last year’s proposed map, Hoover wasn’t put into a district with another incumbent.

95th District (incumbent Democrat) – House Speaker Greg Stumbo’s district contains all of Floyd County and a small piece of Pike County.

97th District (incumbent Democrat) – Rep. Hubie Collins of Wittensville has represented this district since 1991. But the changes would cut out Democratic precincts in Floyd County, which is now completely in Stumbo’s district. The district would keep Johnson and Martin counties but would dip deeper into Pike County than it did before.

BARELY OR NOT CHANGED:

3rd. District (incumbent Democrat) — Freshman Democratic Rep. Gerald Watkins keeps the heart of Paducah and spreads across the northern part of McCracken County.

11th District (incumbent Democrat) — The Henderson-focused district would shed some western precincts but remains largely the same for Rep. David Watkins.

12th District (incumbent Democrat) — This district, represented by Rep. Jim Gooch of Providence, would stay mostly the same with Webster and McLean counties plus southern Daviess and northern Hopkins counties.

13th District (incumbent Democrat) — The Owensboro-focused district stays largely the same for Rep. Jim Glenn.

14th District (incumbent Democrat) — This district, home of Rep. Tommy Thompson, would add a few western Daviess County precincts. It keeps Ohio County.

15th District (incumbent Democrat) — Another district that stays largely the same with Muhlenberg County and two big chunks of eastern Hopkins County. The seat is held by Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville.

16th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Martha Jane King’s district would add precincts in southwest Warren County to her district, which is currently just Logan and Todd counties.

20th District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Jody Richards, who lawmakers privately acknowledged was the architect of the western portion of the new map, keeps the city of Bowling Green as his district.

22nd District (incumbent Democrat) — Rep. Wilson Stone of Scottsville represents this district which pretty much stays the same: Allen, Simpson and southern Warren counties.

23rd District (incumbent Democrat) — Another one that stays the same: eastern Warren County and all of Barren County, which is currently represented by Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow.

25th District (incumbent Democrat) – This seat, held by Rep. Jimmie Lee of Elizbethtown, becomes a bit more compact but still covers eastern Hardin County.

51st District (incumbent Republican) — This district, represented by Rep. Bam Carney of Campbellsville, remains unchanged.

52nd District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Ken Upchurch of Monticello just returned to the House this winter in a special election, and the map wouldn’t alter the district, which covers Wayne, McCreary and part of Pulaski.

57th District (incumbent Democrat) — This district, represented by Rep. Derrick Graham of Frankfort stays mostly the same covering more than half of Franklin County. It picks up the northeastern corner of the district.

64th District (incumbent Republican) — Rep. Tom Kerr’s district in central Kenton County that includes Taylor Mill shrinks a bit geographically.

73rd District (incumbent Republican) – The Clark County-centric district wouldn’t change much. This district, represented by Republican Rep. Donna Mayfield of Winchester, also has part of northern Madison County.

82nd District (incumbent Republican) – This is another virtually unchanged district – currently represented by Rep. Regina Bunch of Williamsburg – that keeps Whitley County and a piece of southern Laurel County.

84th District (incumbent Democrat) – This district would continue to include Perry County and central Harlan County. Rep. Fitz Steele of Hazard currently represents it.

85th District (incumbent Republican) – The district long represented by Rep. Tommy Turner of Somerset would stay largely the same: much of Pulaski County and southwestern Laurel County.

86th District (incumbent Republican) – This one only gets more Republican with Knox County and a change of a couple precincts in Laurel County. Rep. Jim Stewart currently holds the seat.

87th District (incumbent Democrat) – Rep. Rick Nelson of Middlesboro would keep Bell County and about half of Harlan County.

93rd District (incumbent Democrat) – Rep. Keith Hall of Phelps would keep the bulk of Pike County outside of Pikeville.

98th District (incumbent Democrat) – This district, represented by Rep. Tanya Pullin of South Shore, stays largely the same with Greenup County and part of northern Boyd County.

JEFFERSON COUNTY The districts of Democratic Rep. Joni Jenkins of Shively (44th Dist.), Rep. Charlie Miller (28th Dist.), Democratic Rep. Denny Butler (38th Dist.) and Rep. Jeff Donohue (37th Dist.) run like ribbons next to each other from the southern border of the county north. Republican Rep. Kevin Bratcher’s 29th District becomes more compact in southeastern Jefferson County.

Likewise, the districts around the city of Louisville represented by Democrats stayed largely the same: the 40th (Rep. Dennis Horlander), the 35th (Rep. Jim Wayne), the 30th (Rep. Tom Burch), the 46th (Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark), the 34th (Rep. Mary Lou Marzian) and the 31st (Rep. Steve Riggs of Jeffersontown).
So do the three Democratic-held districts that cover most of Louisville: the 41st (Rep. Tom Riner), the 42nd (Rep. Reginald Meeks) and the 43rd (Rep. Darryl Owens).

The Republican-heavy area in northern Jefferson County shifted a bit. The 48th District held by House Republican Caucus Leader Bob DeWeese got more compact and now covers just the northern point of Jefferson County and bleeds into Oldham County. So will the 33rd District held by Rep. Ron Crimm. That district shifted north. And the 32nd District represented by Rep. Julie Raque Adams shrunk a bit.

FAYETTE COUNTY:

The 45th District, represented by Republican Rep. Stan Lee, would spread west to that entire corner of Fayette County and pick up just a little bit of northern Jessamine County.

The central Lexington districts remain largely the same geographically: the 77th (Democratic Rep. Jesse Crenshaw), the 75th (Democratic Rep. Kelly Flood), the 79th (Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom) and the 76th (Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo).

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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