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First redistricting map leaves out Carnahan

By   /   March 31, 2011  /   No Comments

Missouri voters now have their first look at a new map of what could become the state’s eight congressional districts. As expected, the map leaves out the St. Louis district served by Rep. Russ Carnahan, a Democrat.

Proposed map, courtesy of Missouri News Horizon

The map unveiled Wednesday for a public hearing in the Capitol in Jefferson City on Thursday, eliminates what is currently the state’s third congressional district, which includes the southern portion of the city of St. Louis, parts of southern St. Louis County, all of Jefferson County and St. Genevieve County.

The district is absorbed by the three other congressional districts that currently border it. Carnahan’s home falls in the same district in the city of St. Louis as veteran Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat.

Chair of the House Redistricting Committee, state Rep. John Diehl, a Republican from Town and Country, said it is nothing personal or political. The proposed map has to do with population shifts.

“The city of St. Louis only has 320,000 people, and it’s pretty hard to justify the county that’s decreased the most in population still being the population base for two of eight congressional districts across the state,” Diehl said, indicating he plans to keep the process moving. He wants to have a map ready for consideration by state representatives on the floor of the House by Tuesday.

The threat of losing his congressional district, has not stopped Carnahan from trying to raise money for his reelection. The congressman has set a goal of raising $19,655 by the end of the quarter on Thursday.

As reported by Missouri Watchdog in December, Missouri is one of ten states across the country that will lose a congressional seat — dropping from nine to eight congressional districts — starting with the 2012 election campaign as a result of the reapportionment process that took place following the 2010 U.S. Census.

The map also shifts the district of Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican serving the sixth congressional district in northwest Missouri, to include almost every county north of the Missouri River across the entire state.

Another significant shift in the proposed map is in Mid-Missouri where the city of Columbia and Boone County, traditionally Democratic strongholds, have been shifted out of the district currently represented by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican, and placed into the district of freshman Rep. Vicky Hartzler, also a Republican.

Reporting by Dick AldrichMissouri News Horizondaldrich@monewshorizon.org

Brian R. Hookbrhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944, edited and contributed

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