TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas House and Senate redistricting committees each met Tuesday afternoon.
“We produced a map that she would have won in that district in 2020,” Republican State Senate President Ty Masterson from Andover said Tuesday of the new 3rd District that Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids would be in.
Masterson proposed a map called Ad Astra, or “To The Stars,” which is the Kansas motto. Under his proposed map, Davids’ district is divided at the Interstate 70 line.
Everything south of it is in her district. Everything north of it would be represented by 2nd District Republican Rep. Jake LaTurner.
“You have to split Wyandotte,” Masterson said Tuesday. “That actually keeps the demographics more similar. By the way, Wyandotte splits cleanly, more north south than east west.”
Davids’ district would now include all of Miami, Franklin and Anderson counties, too.
But not everyone is happy with the proposed congressional maps.
“It looks like it’s been gerrymandered for a significant party to benefit,” State Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Democrat from Lenexa, said later that afternoon.
That same Ad Astra map was also proposed in the Kansas House earlier Tuesday afternoon by state Rep. Chris Croft, chair of the House Redistricting Committee, who’s from Overland Park.
“I try to be very fair. That’s my military training,” he said Tuesday. “I try to sit back and say, ‘What are the correct things to do?’ Just kind of looking through the process and coming up with ideas and how you can make them work. A lot of it’s population driven, too, so there’s a lot of factors that go into it.”
Also in the House, Democrat Tom Burroughs from Kansas City, Kansas, presented a map called “Buffalo 2.” He said it has an advantage over the others.
“It meets the population and the variances, and it keeps the metropolitan, Wyandotte and Johnson County together,” he said Tuesday. “That has been expressed throughout our schedule of hearings throughout the state when we did the town hall meetings.”
Burroughs’ map is very similar to the League of Women Voters map that tries to keep all of Wyandotte and most of Johnson County together.
Republican State Rep. Kyle Hoffman from Coldwater, Kansas, also proposed a map that would completely take Wyandotte County out of Davids’ district. It would give it to 1st District Republican Rep. Tracey Mann. Mann represents Western Kansas right now, but under this proposal, his new district would wrap all around the northern part of the state and then cover Wyandotte County on the eastern side.
Finally in the Senate, Sykes proposed her own map Tuesday. She produced one that included all of Wyandotte County in Davids’ district and most of Johnson County. She said she heard from people on the Kansas side of the metro who said they wanted to see Wyandotte County together.
“Our approach was that we kept Wyandotte whole and then took the carve outs of Johnson County to some of those rural areas of the county,” Sykes said. “We tried to keep the greater Kansas City metro area together.”
That’s six maps proposed in total in both the Kansas House and Senate, but the Ad Astra map was produced in both chambers. Lawmakers could vote on the maps by Friday.