Missouri approves US House maps, preserving Democratic seat
The Missouri state Senate on Thursday gave final approval to new U.S. House district lines that will preserve two Democratic-majority seats based in the state’s largest cities.
The new maps now go to Gov. Mike Parson (R), who is likely to approve them. The district lines would almost certainly preserve the GOP’s advantage in six of Missouri’s eight seats in Congress.
The new maps take several rural conservative counties out of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s (D) district and consolidates his seat around the Kansas City metro area. They also change the shape of a suburban St. Louis-based district currently held by Rep. Ann Wagner (R), adding new conservative territory to a seat that had been inching toward Democrats in recent years.
The remaining six districts — five held by Republicans and a St. Louis-based seat held by Rep. Cori Bush (D) — will likely be safe for their respective parties for the decade to come.
The vote Thursday came after months of feuding between factions of Republicans. A group of conservative senators had hoped to carve up a district based in Kansas City, currently held by Cleaver, in an effort to wrest another seat into the GOP’s column.
The two sides fought for weeks after the state House advanced its version of a map in January. In February, conservatives mounted a rare filibuster in a chamber their party controlled that ground the Senate to a halt.
The state House passed a new version of their map on Monday in an effort to break the impasse. State Senate leaders used a rare rule to advance the measure to the floor, in what one conservative senator derided as a “sneak attack.”
“The process stinks to high heaven,” state Sen. Bob Onder (R), one of the leaders of the conservative faction, said on the Senate floor.
A bipartisan group of senators voted to approve the final maps. The eleven votes against all came from those conservatives who wanted to try a more aggressive map.
Missouri was one of the last states to approve new U.S. House district lines. Now, only New Hampshire remains to complete its redistricting work, though maps approved by legislators in New York, Kansas and Florida all face court challenges.
Once Parson signs the bill, the new maps will take effect in time for Missouri’s Aug. 2 primary.
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