New court-drawn legislative maps in Kansas have created last-minute chaos for dozens of members of the Kansas House and Senate.
Bet they wish they could have figured this out before the court intervened.
More than a third of House incumbents are now in districts with another incumbent. Because the House is overwhelmingly Republican, most of the potential incumbent v. incumbent races involve GOP members.
Four state Senate districts feature incumbent v. incumbent possibilities.
And the three-judge panel shook up the state's congressional districts, too, putting Manhattan in the largely-rural 1st district, now served by GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp.
The map could be appealed, but there is no indication that will happen. Some in the GOP believe the filing deadline is still Monday, leaving scores of candidates scrambling to make their decisions.
First, the links:
Now, the notable developments:
-- The new map for the 40-member state Senate features four districts incumbent v. incumbent battles.
They are: Pat Apple and Ray Merrick in the south Johnson County 37th District; Jeff King and Dwayne Umbarger in the 15th District, and Mark Taddiken and Roger Reitz in the 22nd District. All are Republicans.
In one district -- the 40th -- Republican Ralph Ostmeyer faces a potential race against Democrat Allen Schmidt.
No word yet on whether two Johnson County moderate senators, Tim Owens of Overland Park and John Vratil of Leawood, will face conservative challengers.
-- Forty-six House members, more than one-third of the House, are either in incumbent v. incumbent races or, in two cases, incumbent v. incumbent v. incumbent races, assuming all current incumbents are candidates for re-election.
Among the notable incumbent v. incumbent battles:
Pat Colloton v. Rob Bruchman both Rs, in 20th district
Lance Kinzer v. Ron Worley, both Rs, in 30th district
Melanie Meyer, D, v. Connie O'Brien, R, in 42nd district
Johnson County districts 14, 15, 17, 26, 28 and 38 are now open seats, without any incumbent.
-- Manhattan, home of that new, and very expensive, bio-defense lab presumably will be represented by Huelskamp, who's known as a tea-party conservative not crazy about costly federal projects.
Some now wonder whether the NBAF project will face new funding challenges as a result. In Congress-world, it helps a whole lot to have a representative who's gung-ho about a project -- and not lukewarm.
Here's the AP story:
JUNCTION CITY, Kan. | Three federal judges set new political boundaries for Kansas in a ruling Thursday night, making a change in congressional districts that many Republican legislators have opposed.
The panel released the order in a federal lawsuit that was filed last month. The judges drew new boundaries for congressional, state House, state Senate and State Board of Education districts because the Republican-dominated Legislature failed to do so.
The maps needed to be adjusted to account for population shifts over the past decade, though a bitter feud among Republicans prevented passage of any political maps.
"As a result, the court has regretfully resorted to the painstaking task of drawing its own plans," the judges said in the unsigned order, which was more than 200 pages long.
A key change in the state's congressional map will expand the 1st District of western and central Kansas so that it takes in Manhattan, home to Kansas State University. Many Republicans wanted the city to stay in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas.
Manhattan-area officials also wanted to stay in the 2nd District, arguing that their community had more in common with eastern Kansas. That prompted legislators to consider proposals that split major eastern Kansas communities -- Kansas City, Topeka and Lawrence -- so that part of each would have been lumped into the 1st District with farming communities 400 miles or more away.
Many GOP lawmakers were willing to do that because moving Manhattan to the 1st District created a slightly more Democratic district for U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, the senior member of the state's all GOP delegation in the U.S. House.
The plan also unites all of Lawrence in the 2nd District; the city had been split between the 2nd and the 3rd districts. The 3rd District is centered on the Kansas City area.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the new state legislative districts favor conservative or moderate Republicans, whose feud created the legislative stalemate.
The fight over state Senate districts was the most bitter, because of feuding between conservative and moderate Republicans. Conservatives hope to oust the chamber's moderate GOP leaders and accuse them of trying to draw district boundaries to thwart primary challengers.
The judges considered multiple proposals for redrawing Kansas Senate districts. The court allowed 27 individuals to intervene in the case, many of whom were key figures in the Legislature's stalemate. Those individuals submitted numerous proposals to the judges.
"Most of the interveners have unabashedly political reasons for intervening, and they seek to advance their respective political agendas," the judges wrote.
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, said he would have preferred to keep the Manhattan-area in the 2nd District. But he said the alternative proposals that would have done that clearly violated redistricting guidelines that legislators had adopted for themselves.
"The map does at least preserve the core of the existing district," said Davis, one of the interveners in the case.
Senate President Steve Morris, a moderate Republican from Hugoton, said the proposal approved by the court was reasonable except for the placement of Manhattan. "It's not surprising," he said.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he was reviewing the ruling Thursday night. Kobach was named as the original defendant because he oversees elections in the state.
A message left late Thursday night for House Speaker Mike O'Neal, a conservative Republican from Hutchinson, wasn't immediately returned.