As a proposed redistricting plan moves closer to passage in the Iowa state legislature, Republican Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham will meet this week in an attempt to hash out their 2012 plans.
The two Republicans are trying to decide to how to move forward should the map be approved and are hoping to avoid a 2012 primary battle.
Iowa is losing a congressional district ahead of next year, and a new map that would pit two sets of incumbents against each other in 2012 could be approved by state lawmakers as early as Thursday. The proposed map also combines Democratic Reps. Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley, but Loebsack has already indicated that he would move out of the district rather than face a primary against Braley.
One option under consideration on the Republican side, according to a GOP source in the state, is Latham moving into Rep. Leonard Boswell's (D-Iowa) district and running against the longtime Democrat rather than having to wage a primary campaign against King.
The proposed map cleared a state Senate committee Tuesday, moving it another step closer to passage.
"No incumbent likes redistricting," King told The Ballot Box Tuesday, adding that the only ones who want to see a King-Latham primary battle are Iowa Democrats. "Any other scenario would be preferable to almost every Republican."
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad still has veto power over the map should it win approval in the legislature and he has yet to put his full stamp of approval on the plan, but few lawmakers have raised any real objections to the map thus far.
If the map does win passage, King said he expects that he and Latham will make a decision on how to move forward quickly.
"If you can produce an answer immediately upon knowing what the map is going to be, that's the best way to go," he said. "Get the answer out there and get on with whatever it is you have to do."