Yarmuth plans to run again in 2012, says he'd like to see Jefferson County in one congressional district

03/22/2011 06:34 PM

It would be ideal if Jefferson County — the state’s most populous county — was represented by one congressman, said Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville.

Yarmuth is in his third term representing the 3rd Congressional District, which covers most but not all of Jefferson County. Some southern precincts fall in the 2nd District.

But Yarmuth was quick to point out that the redistricting process is not in his control because state lawmakers are in charge of redrawing the lines every 10 years after the Census numbers are finished.

“I hope that they would be also receptive to ideas, wherever they come from,” Yarmuth said on Tuesday’s edition of Pure Politics. “The first goal is to try and maintain as much of the existing district as possible, so people aren’t dislocated.”

The numbers indicate it’s possible to keep Jefferson County and Louisville as it is, Yarmuth said, and that would be fine with him. The county has more than 741,000 and the ideal Kentucky district should have about 723,000 people. The current 3rd District configuration has about 721,000.

“I would say that the objective should be minimum change. But again, there are some pretty significant changes that have to take place because of the change in population,” Yarmuth said.

Politics often play a role in redistricting, with lawmakers often trying to ease the way to re-election for candidates in their party.

“There are different motivations probably from incumbent members than there are from those in the general assembly who will have to vote on them. And that’s another thing I have no opinion about,” Yarmuth said with a smirk on his face.

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, made it clear during his appearance earlier this year on Pure Politics that he didn’t appreciate congressmen suggesting that they should get to lay out the districts.

Yarmuth said he doesn’t see anything on the horizon that would keep him from running for re-election in 2012, saying he would like to pass a few things that are important to him. He acknowledged that would be easier if he were in the majority party next term.


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