The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Iowa, redistricted

The new redistricting plan that approved by the Iowa legislature yesterday granted Grinnell new representatives in Washington, D.C. and Des Moines.

This vote moves Grinnell from the current Third Congressional District to the new, more liberal First Congressional District that represents most of northeastern Iowa. The Third District includes all of Polk County, including Des Moines, and Poweshiek County.

Two congressmen currently live in the proposed First District, Democrats Bruce Braley of Waterloo and Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon. Loebsack may move to Iowa City to run in the Second District, covering southeastern Iowa. The Third District tends to be more conservative then the First District.

Politically, Grinnell students may be better represented in the new First Congressional District than the current Third District. Although both the new First District and current Third District voted for Barack Obama in 2008 with 58% and 54% respectively, the current Third District voted for George W. Bush by 267 votes in 2004.
Grinnell’s state representative and senator are also set to change. Under the new plan, all of Poweshiek County would be placed into 76th District with most of Iowa County. The new configuration may result in an open seat. Grinnell’s current representative, Republican Guy Vander Linden, lives outside the new 76th District lines. The current representative for Iowa County, Republican Betsy De Boef, also lives outside the new 76th District.

Grinnell stays in the 38th State Senate District, currently held by Democrat Tom Rielly. The 38th District currently contains all of Poweshiek and Keokuk counties, as well as parts of Iowa, Mahaska and Tama counties. The new borders contain all of Poweshiek, Iowa and Benton counties. These new boundaries exclude Rielly’s home in Mahaska County. Rather, the incumbent State Senator for the new 38th District is Republican Tim Kapucian, who lives in Benton County.

The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Committee planned the zoning of the Iowa State House and Senate districts. All districts created by the committee are required to meet certain standards. Standards include that districts must have population equality and be contiguous. Counties may not be split between more than one district. Cities and counties need to be split as little as possible in State House districts. State Senate Districts are composed of two State House Districts.

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