Redistricting Maps Shaking Up Cowley And Sumner Politics
Saturday, June 09, 2012 By: Shane Farley, Tracy McCue, and Shawn Wheat
Kansas House and Senate maps, approved by federal judges this week, will shake up the political landscape in Cowley and Sumner County.
Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield, now is in the 79th district for the Kansas House of Representatives. That district will represent northwest Cowley County, including Winfield, and parts of eastern Sumner County, including Belle Plaine and Oxford.
Trimmer previously represented the 78th District, which included the northern half of Cowley County and a small part of Butler County. The 78th district is now in Johnson County.
Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Ark City, will now represent the state’s 80th district. Kelley lost the eastern Cowley County portion of her district, but picked up a considerable portion of Sumner County.
Caldwell and a portion of Wellington are now in Kelley’s district.
Those in the eastern portion of Cowley County - nearly everyone east of 121st Rd. - will be part of the 12th House district, which includes parts of Butler, Elk and Chautauqua counties. That is represented by Virgil Peck Jr., a Republican from Tyro, KS in Montgomery County.
The new maps mean Cowley will be represented by three state representatives instead of two and two state senators instead of one.
State Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Ark City, will continue to represent the state’s 32nd Senate Dist., but the look of that district will change considerably. Abrams will still represent Winfield, Ark City and all of Sumner County.
But his district has shifted further west, and now Udall, Burden, Dexter and a bulk of rural Cowley County will be part of the Senate’s 14th district, which currently has no incumbent, and no one running for its position.
Sumner County has been as a whole the 80th House District for decades. But now it has been split into three separate house districts. And Wellington appears to have been split somewhere near or at the middle. A certain percentage of voters on the west side of town will be voting in the House District 116 and the other percentage on the east side will be in the 80th District.
The 116th District now reaches from as far west as Comanche County and includes Harper County and the northwest corner of Sumner County including the western part of Wellington. This district appears to be where current state representative Vince Wetta, a Democrat; and challenger Terry Nunamaker, a Republican, live. Wetta and Nunemaker will be battling Republican incumbent Kyle Hoffman of Coldwater.
The courts took over the job of redistricting when state legislators could not reach a compromise. Redistricting is required periodically to accommodate new census numbers.
The filing deadline for state offices is Monday at noon. Anyone wanting to file, or pull of a race due to the redistricting, must do so before the deadline.
The new district maps can be seen below:
Information Provided By: KSOK News, NewsCow,net, SumnerNewsCow.net