House GOP Plan to Move Quickly on Newly Proposed District Maps

Just before New Year’s Eve, Republicans in the Kentucky House of Representatives revealed their plans to substantially redraw legislative districts that will be in place for the next decade.

The plan, which was blasted as “fake transparency” by Democrats for being unveiled during a state holiday, will pit multiple incumbent representatives against one another.

“If they were sincere, they would have not released their redistricting plan on a state holiday and without the detailed information the public needs,” Democratic leaders said of the map.

“Citizens and candidates alike won’t have that information online until late Tuesday, less than two days before the entire House votes,” House Democratic leadership said of the GOP map released on Dec. 30.   “That gives them precious little time to absorb the many changes and then offer input, something that goes against the very hallmark of the legislative process.

The House GOP map pits two pairs of incumbents against one another. Two Republicans and two Democrats. The districts in question include one in far Western Kentucky, two in Jefferson County, and one in Eastern Kentucky.

Republican incumbents impacted include Rep. Norma Kirk McCormick and Rep. Bobby McCool who are placed in a contest against one another in eastern Kentucky. Rep. Lynn Bechler and Rep. Jim Gooch will face off in this new map in Western Kentucky.

Democratic incumbent Rep. Mary Lou Marzian and Rep. Josie Raymond are placed in a single district in Louisville. Likewise, Rep. Makenzie Cantrell and Rep. Lisa Willner will also face one another in a newly drawn Louisville district.

House Republicans argued this map is compact and constitutional. The House GOP map sets the population of every district within the five percent plus or minus deviation required under precedent.  Districts range between -4.39 percent and 4.8 percent, they cannot by law exceed 5 percent.

The proposed map includes four majority-minority districts (HD 40, HD 42, HD 43, and HD 44) and two districts with increased minority influence (HD 30 and HD 77).

“Legislators are ready to get to work as soon as we convene on Tuesday,” House Speaker Osborne said. “We’re giving members enough time to review the House plan and they will have additional opportunities to vet it and discuss it next week. This will allow us to move forward and continue our work on the budget and take a look at what needs to be done to address both disaster recovery efforts in West and Western Kentucky and pandemic relief.”

Republicans already hold a 75 to 25 majority in the lower chamber in the districts previously drawn by Democrats during the previous census.