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7-1 filibuster
A view of the Missouri Senate chamber from the visitors gallery (photo courtesy of the Missouri Senate).

Supporters of 7-1 congressional map rally at Missouri Capitol

The battle over redistricting Missouri’s eight congressional seats heated up in Jefferson City on Monday. Several senators joined political activists from across Missouri to oppose a proposed 6-2 congressional redistricting map that already has passed out of the House and a Senate committee. They want a 7-1 map instead.

Supporters of that map say it favors Republicans with six of the eight congressional seats. Detractors aren’t that confident and are advocating for a proposal that would give Republicans seven seats. The move would follow other states, both Democrat and Republican-controlled legislatures, that are taking advantage of new census numbers to benefit their parties. In several Democrat states like Illinois and New York, Democrats are redistricting several Republican Congressional representatives out of a job.

As of Tuesday morning, a filibuster continued in the Senate after it rejected a 7-1 map. But by 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, senators continued to hold the floor as a filibuster stretched into its 16th hour after numerous quorum calls and two failed motions to adjourn by Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis.

Proponents of the 7-1 map in Missouri believe that the state, which is overwhelmingly Republican, deserves to have an additional Republican legislator. If successful, the controversial Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, would likely lose his seat in the next election.

“Are we fighting fire with fire here in Missouri? We should be, but no,” said Sen. Bob Onder, a Conservative Caucus member, pointing to Democrats’ efforts in bluer states to cut out GOP-held seats. “A few weeks ago, the House passed out what I call the ‘Pelosi map.’ Some of my Republican colleagues don’t like me saying that, and I promised them over the weekend I wouldn’t say it, but I’m saying it today.


7-1 map supporters heard from state senators. Submitted photo.

“This is the Pelosi map, it is the RINO map, it is the sellout map. It is the bought-and-paid-for map. It is the insider, Jefferson City swamp map. We cannot give away one or two congressional seats to Nancy Pelosi and the congressional Democrats.”

About 100 people gathered outside Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office, hoisting signs and donning burgundy stickers that said 7-1. Ashcroft addressed the demonstrators to encourage them in their efforts. Several rallygoers decried Gov. Mike Parson and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, alleging they were not conservative leaders, and celebrated the defeat of the governor’s pick to lead the health department.

Missouri Right to Life and other conservative and pro-life groups agree with giving conservatives an extra voice in Congress. “What if in November we come up short by one Congressman/woman of turning Congress pro-life, would we in Missouri have done our part?” the organization stated in an email to supporters.

KFL stated that “In Missouri we CAN send SEVEN Republicans to DC. We don’t have to settle for the weak 6:2 map (which will likely end up as a 5:3 map before the next census and Redistricting) that the Missouri House passed (barely) which the Senate is scheduled to bring up on the floor on Monday, Feb. 7 when the Senate goes into session at noon. We need to shine the light and crank up the heat!”

Last week, many of the same conservative senators and activists protested against Donald Kauerauf, who has a lengthy career in public health and safety in neighboring Illinois and had been leading the Department of Health and Senior Services since September. Ultimately, senators declined to confirm him, and Kauerauf resigned.

“What’s at stake today is not territory. What’s at stake today is not some far-off foreign land. What’s at stake today is your freedoms,” Sen. Bill Eigel said. “What’s at stake today is whether or not Missouri is going to join the rest of the country in pushing back against Joe Biden and all of the other crazies in Washington, D.C.”

A compromise is said to be in the works that would strengthen the 2nd congressional district for Republicans and tweak the 1st congressional district that Rep. Cori Bush, a progressive, represents.

Regardless of where voters stand, they were encouraged to contact those in charge of the map.

Please contact these Republican Senators and voice your opinion and encourage them to support the 7:1 map:
These Republican Senators support the 7:1 map.
To listen to the debate live, click HERE.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice