As expected, a map submitted for consideration of the House Redistricting Committee by its chair, Rep. John Diehl, R-Town and Country, shows the congressional district currently represented by Congressman Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, absorbed by the three congressional districts that currently border it.
Carnahan's home fell in veteran north St. Louis congressman Lacy Clay's district. Missouri loses one congressional district in 2013 as the result of the reapportionment process that took place after the 2010 U.S. Census.
The map also shifts northwest Missouri congressman Sam Graves' district to include almost every county north of the Missouri River from the western border of the state to the eastern border.
Another significant shift appears to have been made in mid-Missouri where the city of Columbia and Boone County, traditional Democratic strongholds, have been shifted out of the district represented by current Ninth District Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and placed into the district of freshman U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville.
Jefferson City, which currently in Hartzler's district, has been placed in Leutkemeyer's district, under the map proposed by Diehl.
The map will be the subject of a public hearing Thursday afternoon at the State Capitol.
Diehl says he wants to have a map for consideration on the House floor by Tuesday.
(Dick Aldrich, Missouri News Horizon)
Previous Report: 2/26
(Springfield, MO) -- Changes in Missouri's political map could soon change the importance of your vote.
The state is set to lose a congressional seat. That's because the census numbers show the state isn't growing fast enough to keep them all.
Charged with redrawing Missouri's congressional map, state lawmakers promised to handle the process in a fair and transparent manner, avoiding any political gerrymandering.
"We'll draw the boundaries to make sure that each citizens equally and fairly represented and each citizen's vote means as much as every other citizen's
vote," said Sen. Jack Goodman, (R-Mt. Vernon). "And that's the entire focus of this effort."
After receiving detailed census data this week, members of the state Senate redistricting committee held a town hall meeting in Springfield to gather public opinion.
Elizabeth Dudash, an assistant professor at Missouri State University, asked legislatures to avoid the partisan redistricting tactics of states like Texas, where districts are intentionally draw to favor one party.
"Please, keep communities of similar interests together in order to best represent all of the citizens of this state," said Dudash.
Carl Allison, who lives in Springfield, also attended the meeting Friday.
"I think it's important that Missouri has all the possible representation, accurately, accurately assigned," Allison said.
A growing population could spare southwest Missouri's seventh district from the brunt of the coming shifts.
"I'm thrilled to be part of the seventh district, where we have the lowest deviation rate of anywhere in the state," said Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo), who also attended the meeting Friday.
Major changes to a district could mean changes in political strategies. Candidates may have to target new populations. It could even force out politicians. Some are speculating Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-Mo) may lose his seat.
However, if there are few changes to a district's map, it will mean candidates largely only have to gain the support of the people who elected them the first time. Such may be the case with Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo) who was recently elected to represent Missouri's seventh district -- if he runs again.
Like the other bills, the state will be working to finish the maps by the end of this year's legislative session.