Home / News / Local / Republicans would retain advantage in proposed Missouri redistricting plan

Republicans would retain advantage in proposed Missouri redistricting plan

The Missouri congressional map would continue to favor Republicans by a margin of six to two under a proposed redistricting plan announced last week.

The largest change from the current map would be to the local fifth congressional district, which would shrink from a four-county area to merely cover Jackson County and most of Kansas City. Lafayette and Saline counties would be absorbed into the fourth district, along with half of Ray County. The rest of Ray County would join the sixth district to the north. The seventh district also would lose Polk County to the fourth district, while Taney County and part of Webster County would move to the eighty district under the proposal.

“This is a fair and constitutional map, with commonsense boundaries that everyday Missourians can recognize,” said Republican Mike Bernskoetter, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting. “This map, which must be passed by both the House and Senate, is also drawn to achieve the greatest amount of consensus possible. My House counterpart and I chose to make this joint announcement to emphasize the great care that went into drawing a map we were confident could survive legislative, judicial, and public scrutiny.”

A version of the map must be passed and signed by Gov. Mike Parson or constructed by the courts by March 28.

“Congressional redistricting is a tremendous responsibility for [the Missouri Legislature] every 10 years,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said on social media. “I appreciate the great amount of work Sen. Bernskoetter and [Rep. Dan Shaul] have put in up until now to get us to this place.

“We will continue to be diligent in working with all interested parties to craft a map that reflects the strength and diversity of the Show-Me State. I look forward to working with the House to pass a map as quickly as possible at the beginning of the 2022 session.”

The state’s population grew to exceed six million according to the 2020 census., with more people living in larger communities while smaller communities shrink. Both congressional and legislative maps will need to change drastically to accommodate the population shifts, according to state demographer Matt Hesser.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice