The New Legislative Maps

Just when we weren’t looking… they released the maps… Find them Here.

 

There will be some follow-up during tomorrow morning’s regular Update as I am sure I’ll get feedback, but here’s my first glance analysis.

 

Overview

There’s no other way to describe the sentiment out there: people are pissed.  By people, I mean legislators.  58 incumbent state representatives up for re-election find themselves paired with another state representative!

 

There will be some push-back against this map which they feel was unfairly hostile to incumbents. It may be a lawsuit saying that the appellate commission violated sunshine laws. Or it may be a challenge to the constitutionality of some lines.  Or it may be that a referendum on the non-partisan court plan.  Already there are rumors of a bi-partisan bill to take a court revamp to the people.

 

Democrats are doubly upset because they feel that the lines protect the current Republican majorities.  The numbers say as much.  102 House districts (62%) have Republican voting indexes over 50%.  Likewise 23 Senate districts (67%) have Republican voting indexes over 50%.  It’s now easy to imagine Republican legislative majorities for the next decade.

 

Put another way: these maps will bring a great deal of upheaval to individual legislators, but produce no net change in the overall balance of power in the legislature.

 

 

Here are insights and observations passed along to me.  I am sure I will be adding to this in the coming days.

 

St. Louis Area

In the City

Sens. Joe Keaveny and Robin Wright Jones have essentially status quo districts except for a slight shift due to population loss.

 

The city will have eight and a half rep seats now, down from ten.  That leads to a crunch in north city where Rep. Jamilah Nasheed finds herself together with Reps. Chris Carter and Karla May.  Nasheed is about one block inside the boundaries for Wright Jones’ senate district, and one must assume she is already tossing that possibility around her head.

 

St. Louis County

Sen. Jim Lembke loses his city portion. That’s a happy parting for both parties.  Plenty of observers thought that Lembke was an endangered species during this process.  However his narrow, narrow 2008 victory and his antagonistic attitude toward the judiciary on the Senate floor didn’t seal his doom to an unfavorable district.  His new district, while still competitive, isn’t bad for him.  It’s a testament to the fact that the judges really didn’t play politics as much as play tornadoes.

 

Sen. Jane Cunningham is in the new Senate 24 with Sen. John Lamping.  Her district was lifted and placed northward, taking in Lincoln County on the south, Callaway on the west, and Ralls on the north.  Because Lamping’s an even-numbered district (and therefore not up for election until 2014) Cunningham has to find somewhere to run in 2012.  And that will be the new Senate 27 district taken from southeast Missouri and located not far from her house.

 

An aside – Asks one legislator: why didn’t the judges just take Senate 27 (Sen. Jason Crowell termed) and put it where the new Senate 7 is?  And then leave Senate 7 reasonably close to its starting point?  The answer, according to that legislator, is that this is a “blow up the incumbents map.”

 

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s district picked up some affluent neighborhoods, and Senate 13 (Sen. Tim Green termed) is said to look good for candidate Gina Walsh.

 

There are lots of representatives paired into single districts in St. Louis County: Rep. Paul Curtman and Speaker-elect Tim Jones.  Obviously Curtman (who’s young and single) will move and give the Speaker-elect a respectful unopposed re-election.

 

Rep. John Diehl was drawn together with Reps. Cole McNary and Rick Stream.  McNary, it’s said, has decided to run for state treasurer.  The thinking is that Stream will yield to Diehl how has a better portion of the new district and $164K in the bank.

 

Reps. Sue Allen, Don Gosen and Andrew Koenig were also drawn together.  Not sure if there’s an easy way to resolve that mess, but my gut would put Allen as the favorite if it devolves into a street fight.

 

Reps. Gary Fuhr and John McCaherty are paired.  My eyeballing of the new district looks to me like Fuhr would be in a better position.

 

And it looks like Rep. Mike Leara has a favorable Senate map (District 1) come 2016.

 

On the Democratic side, they suffer the same fate: Rep. Jill Schupp and newly elected Tracy McCreery; Reps. Susan Carlson and Stacy Newman; Reps. Steve Webb and Sylvester Taylor; Reps. Sharon Pace and Clem Smith... all paired!

 

And Reps. Genise Montecillo and Scott Sifton were also drawn together, but like some others there is an open, uninhabited district adjacent; they should be able to reach an accommodation.

 

Finally Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal did okay, but one observer says that her district dips far enough south to include some of Democratic women who helped McCreery in the recent special election.  Chappelle-Nadal was a fierce supporter of the Democratic nominee.

 

St. Charles County

Sen. Tom Dempsey’s district (Senate 23) remains tight.  It’s a 53.8% Republican voting index, but actually was Democratic by a sliver in the big Dem year of 2008.  Meanwhile the other St. Chuck district contracts due to increased population, but is probably well-suited for Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger.

 

And Reps. Kurt Bahr and Doug Funderburk are paired into a single district.

 

 

Southeast Missouri

Boot Heel

The new boot-heel district of Senate 25 is a nice shape for Democratic Rep. Terry Swinger’s campaign.  The court’s documents say it’s a 50.9% Republican voting index.  Assuming that Rep. Ellen Brandom runs for that Senate seat on the Republican side, it won’t be a death-match between her and Rep. Steve Hodges who have been drawn into the same state rep district.

 

Also, freshmen Reps. Todd Richardson and Kent Hampton have been drawn together.  The feeling is that Richardson with his leadership potential will be given the nod and Hampton return to the retirement.

 

In Senate 33, which starts at Poplar Bluff and stretches west across the bottom of the state, Rep. Ward Franz now has serious competition with nail tycoon Doug Libla.

 

Cape

Senate 3 (Sen. Kevin Engler termed) grabs Republican-laden Cape Girardeau making that district now safely Republican (61.5%).  And one source says that Engler’s rumored contemplation to run for the House got easier with this map.

 

Jefferson County

Senate 22 (Sen. Ryan McKenna) lost Arnold and Northwest JeffCo (home to a hotbed of Tea Party activity) and picked up Washington and Iron Counties, making it a safe Dem district, 60.3% Democratic voting index.

 

Freshmen Reps. Dave Hinson and Dave Schatz are together.  Hinson’s being from St. Clair should give him the advantage.

 

Else

Democrat Ben Harris and Republican Paul Fitzwater were drawn together. The new district is 58% Democratic so it should be safe for Harris despite the fact that Fitzwater would outwork him in the potential contest.

 

 

Mid-MO

The new Senate 7 is thought to be a vehicle for Rep. Jeannie Riddle.  But that district may see a primary struggle between twin population bases.  Riddle would represent Callaway County, and she might find opposition from the eastern side of the district where fast-growing Lincoln County sits.

 

Sen. Kurt Schaefer picked up the more Dem-ish Howard County to go with his Boone County.  It’s a Democratic leaning district at 52.6%.  Rep. Mary Still is the expected Dem challenger to Schaefer so this is a nice map for her.

 

Destiny has drawn Rep. Chris Kelly and Caleb Jones together.  Or at least some judges did.  Observers say it’s ‘advantage Jones’ in that district, but I haven’t looked at it yet.

 

Rep. Stephen Webber is in a safe 60% Dem district; and Rep. Jay Barnes’ district gets more urban, but he’s fine as his law office and church are both now in his district.

 

To the northeast of Mid-MO, Reps. Tom Shively, Lindell Shumake, Paul Quinn were drawn into a threesome.  The new district is a 55% Republican district.  Shumake, being the only Republican of the three will take that seat.

 

Also paired are Reps. Jay Houghton and John Cauthorn, and Reps. David Day and Keith Frederick.  I haven’t had time to look at these yet.

 

 

Northwest MO

Sen. Brad Lager’s Senate 12 District creeps southward and takes some of Clay County.

 

Reps. Casey Guernsey and Glen Klippenstein are drawn together.  I assume that Klippenstein would cede the seat to the younger Guernsey.

 

 

Kansas City

The Kansas City senate map preserves the status quo.  Districts 9, 10 and 11 are all heavily Democratic.

 

Rep. Ryan Silvey’s House district is entirely within the new Senate 17, so he should be pleased with the new map.  Still it’s only a 51.5% Republican voting index so it’s not a gimme.

 

Sen. Rob Schaaf’s Senate 34 is a toss-up as it was previously.  It’s a 50.5% Republican voting index.

 

Reps. Jason Holsman and Kevin McManus were placed into the same district.  Holsman has seniority obviously, but he also probably has more options than McManus so we’ll see where it goes. And Reps. Tom McDonald and Ira Anders are also district-mates for a while.

 

In the new House 57, if Reps. Scott Largent and Wanda Brown run against each other, Largent should win because he’s from Clinton, which is the biggest town in the district.

 

Finally there’s lamentations for one of the nicest guys in the building, Sen. David Pearce. Pearce loses half of Johnson County, and in the words of one observer, “basically moves into Stouffer’s district.”

 

 

SouthwestMO

Reps. Thomas Long and Eric Burlison were drawn into a district of the southwest Springfield.

 

Of the two Bills (Reps. Bill Lant, Bill Reiboldt) drawn into the new House 160, Bill Reiboldt is in the population center of Neosho.

 

Reps. Charlie Davis and Tom Flanigan were drawn together.  Davis’ Webb City is mostly in another district, while Flanigan’s Carthage should have the population base.

 

 

And

Former Speaker Rod Jetton’s quick look at the new maps.  Read it Here.

 

 

MOScout News

I will be doing a round of presentations.  These new districts will be the focus.  But I will also cover the statewide races and the next legislative session.

 

Monday, December 19 – St. Louis, 8am

Tuesday, December 20 – Kansas City, 8am

Wednesday, December 21 – Jefferson City, 1:30pm

 

Each attendee will receive a booklet with demographic and voter information on every district as well as early analysis.  The cost is $40 for subscribers, $90 for non-subscribers.  RSVP to me, dave@moscout.com.