Kansas Supreme Court upholds re-drawn Congressional district map
TOPEKA, Kan. (KCTV) - The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the GOP-drawn Congressional map that splits Wyandotte County in two.
The map had recently been rejected by a Wyandotte County judge, prompting Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to petition the state supreme court to determine the map’s validity.
Democrats argued that the map was drawn to help Republicans unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids in the 3rd District in the Kansas City area, while Republicans called it a fair map. It split the Kansas City area between two districts and put Lawrence in the 1st District with central and western Kansas.
Kan. Attorney General Derek Schmidt praised the decision in a statement, saying, “Today’s decisions confirm that the legislative and congressional reapportionments of Kansas enacted by the Legislature this year are constitutionally sound.”
Tom Burroughs, a state representative in the western portion of Wyandotte County, said the result of the decision splits the county in a way that undermines demographic differences between KCK and rural parts of the state. Downtown KCK, for instance, will now be part of the 2nd Congressional District.
“What I find disappointing is that we’re now a split body,” Burroughs said. “It really concerns me greatly. But I really believe that we will rise above this and the effects it has on our community. It’s the beginning of work”
Republicans insist that the new map will still give voters a voice. Marisel Walston, chairperson of the Johnson County Republican Party, called it a good compromise. She does not believe the redrawn district will give Republicans an advantage in the November election.
“We’re just going to start working,” Walston said. “Our candidate, Amanda Adkins, is poised to meet the new constituents.”
Adkins posted a statement in response to the decision saying, “My team and I are ready to hit the ground running in the new district and I look forward to representing the people of Anderson, Franklin, Johnson, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Congress.”
Davids also released a statement, calling the decision disappointing. But she, too, expressed a readiness to connect with constituents.
“I look forward to introducing myself to the new voters in the Third District, continuing my work to find common ground and tackle the everyday issues facing our community, and showing all Kansans that to me, their voice matters,” Davids wrote.
The full opinion will be released here.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
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