WKU Public Radio News Staff
Redistricting in Kentucky
Tue February 7, 2012
Kentucky Congressional Candidates in Limbo as they Await New Redistricting Maps
Kentucky lawmakers are struggling to finalize new Congressional districts.
Both chambers approved new maps of the districts last month and have been in a conference committee for weeks to work out the differences. Last week, legislative leaders thought they were close to an agreement that would leave the maps relatively unchanged, but no compromise was made.
That’s a problem, since the deadline for candidates to file to run in the new districts is Tuesday at 4:00 pm. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says even if an agreement is reached, it’s unlikely the General Assembly could approve a plan before the deadline.
“That’s possible but I don’t think that will happen," he says. "Had the plan been made public for the last three or four days it might not have been necessary to extend the filing deadline. But since it wasn’t and since we don’t have an agreement and since therefore this notification process can’t occur, it’s likely that as soon as they do pass it, it will require some time lapse.”
It’s likely the bill setting the new maps will also include a later filing deadline.
The compromise plan reportedly makes the Sixth Congressional District more Democratic and less compact. State Senator Damon Thayer says he can’t support that.
“It makes drastic changes to the existing Congressional lines and I believe unnecessarily, really disrupts the Central Kentucky regional nature of the Sixth Congressional District," Thayer says. "And since I live in the 6th District I feel like I need to stand up and continue to be a voice.”
The new maps of state legislative districts are also in limbo.