Redistricting Has Challenges for Both Parties

The Legislature must use U.S. Census data released last week to redraw congressional, legislative, and State Board of Education districts next year to ensure they are as equal in population as possible.

The Third Congressional District, represented by Democrat Sharice Davids, is now overpopulated compared to the other three.

The new census figures suggest Johnson County could gain three Kansas House seats and a Kansas Senate seat, while Sedgwick County could gain a House seat.

Their new seats will come from rural areas.

Davids’ congressional district has almost 58,000 too many residents.

The other three districts are short, with the biggest gap in the sprawling First District of western and central Kansas.

Democrats fear GOP legislators will try to divide the Democratic stronghold of Wyandotte County, and move part of it into an expanded First District with overwhelmingly Republican rural areas.

Some Republicans floated the idea in 2012.