Aug. 21, 2013 — Longtime Kentucky political observers were stunned last Thursday and Friday when the leadership of the Kentucky House and Senate unveiled redistricting proposals for the General Assembly.
Both plans were introduced as bills Monday on the opening day of a special legislative session called for that purpose.
Locally, if the two bills become law, Carter County could retain its senator, Robin Webb, 52, D-Morehead, and its representative, Jill York, 46, R-Grayson.
Currently, Carter is part of the 18th Senate District with five other counties: Greenup, Mason, Lewis, Robertson and Bracken.
In the House, Carter now is paired with Lewis County in the 96th District.
The Senate Republicans grabbed statewide headlines on Thursday with a plan that would not pit any of the 38 senators against each other in realigned districts.
The House Democrats took an equal share of the media spotlight on Friday with a plan that matches eight current legislators in four races, surprisingly including four Democrats.
The biggest surprise was in the 100th District of Rep. Kevin Sinnette, D-Ashland, who could be matched against Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, the House majority floor leader.
Based on a redistricting plan thrown out last year, Adkins would have picked up Carter County, matching him head-to-head with York.
Instead, he apparently will have the choice of either maintaining his rural Boyd County residence and running against Sinnette in the 100th or moving to Elliott, Rowan or Lewis counties in the newly-realigned 99th District.
Adkins told the news media Monday in Frankfort that he is “seriously considering” moving to the revamped 99th.
The reapportionment plan proposed by Senate Republicans keeps Carter County in Webb’s 18th District, along with Greenup and adds Boyd.
Mason, Lewis, Robertson and Bracken will be assigned to other Senate districts.
York would give up Lewis County and pick up Lawrence.
If the General Assembly does not agree on redistricting in the special session, new maps will be prepared by a panel of federal judges.
Gov. Beshear, President Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo have promised voters the special session will end in five days with new legislative and judicial reapportionment plans.
Keith Kappes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 800-247-6142.