JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri House panel on Wednesday advanced a congressional redistricting plan that should allow Republicans to keep strong control of the state’s delegation in Washington without achieving an even more dominant advantage.
The proposed US House districts make adjustments to the current boundaries to account for population changes noted in the 2020 census. They should allow Republicans to continue to hold six seats and Democrats two after this year’s election.
Some Republicans, joined by the state’s largest anti-abortion group, Missouri Right to Life, have been urging lawmakers to pass a map that could give Republicans a shot at seven seats. They want to split the 5th District held by Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and tie its parts into other Republican-leaning rural areas. But no motion was made to do so Wednesday by members of the House Select Committee on Redistricting.
However, the committee responded to concerns raised by Ray County community leaders in Richmond, who objected that the proposed map would have divided their town into two districts. The panel amended the proposal on Wednesday to keep all of Ray County and include it — along with rural Carroll and Chariton counties — in the 6th District currently represented by Republican Rep. Sam Graves.
To compensate for this change, the committee split Jackson County to include some of its eastern Kansas City suburbs in the 4th District currently represented by Republican Representative Vicky Hartzler.
Committee chairman Rep. Dan Shaul said he expects the congressional redistricting plan to be considered by the full House next Tuesday.