Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka with redistricting a top priority

Kansas News

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas lawmakers returned to the state capitol Monday, and redistricting will be a big focus for the new legislative session.

In particular, how lawmakers redraw the 3rd congressional district will have a big impact on the Kansas side of the Kansas City area.

State Rep. Chris Croft, R-Overland Park, is the chair of the Redistricting Committee in the House. He said there are a number of options lawmakers are considering when it comes to the redrawing of the lines for the 3rd district.

Democratic Congresswoman Sharice Davids currently represents the 3rd district, which currently covers all of Johnson and Wyandotte counties and part of Miami County. But Johnson County’s population has grown so much over the last 10 years, both it and Wyandotte County can’t completely remain in her district again when voters go to the polls this fall.

“So the point is that this is a math problem right?” Croft said Monday. “Something has to happen, and that’s what all this discussion’s going to be about over the next two or three sessions.”

State Rep. Stephanie Clayton, D-Overland Park, is also on the redistricting committee and said she and Croft are getting along well when it comes to the redistricting subject. She said lawmakers won’t be able to just take Miami County out of Davids’ current district. The 3rd district would still be too big.

“It’s an issue of understanding that we need to adhere to that principle: one person, one vote,” Croft said Monday. “The House Committee’s doing a great job. I think that we really take our job seriously. We’re up for election every two years, and so we always have our ear to the ground because we are the body that’s most accountable to the people.”

The first House redistricting committee meeting for 2022 is coming up Wednesday afternoon. The first state Senate redistricting committee meeting is also scheduled for that afternoon.

Davids will likely be going up against Republican Amanda Adkins in the 2022 election. Davids beat Adkins by 10% in the election in November 2020.

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