Commonwealth Journal

Local News

May 2, 2013

Pulaski Co. would be divided into 4 districts in draft plan

Governor may call a special session to address redistricting

Frankfort, Ky. —

An already prepared redistricting plan that divides Pulaski County into four instead of five House districts will be used if Gov. Steve BeShear calls a special session of the General Assembly to deal with redistricting, according to Brian Wilkerson, communications director for House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
The Associated Press quoted Beshear as saying he is considering a special session sometime before the next regular session in January. The governor said he doesn’t want the divisive redistricting issue to become a distraction during the next session when legislators will be preparing a budget for the commonwealth for the next two years.
A group of officials in northern Kentucky filed a lawsuit in federal court last week in an effort to force the Legislature to act on redistricting. Federal law requires districts to be realigned after the 2010 census, but so far Kentucky has not complied.
The House redistricting plan, if effected in Pulaski County, would push Democrat Terry Mills’ 24th District out of northern Pulaski County and divide Pulaski County among four legislative districts, all represented by Republicans.
Wilkerson said there is a “gentlemen’s agreement” that the House will approve the Senate’s redistricting plan and the Senate will approve the House’s redistricting plan.
 The Senate has not publicly released a redistricting plan, Wilkerson noted. A previous realignment of Senate districts, declared illegal by the courts, moved Pulaski County from the 15th to the 16th senatorial district represented by then-Senate President David Williams. The courts also directed upcoming elections to be held in previously existing districts.
And so it was. In the 15th District, newcomer Chris Girdler was elected to succeed retiring Vernie McGaha. The 15th District is made up of Pulaski, Russell, Casey and Adair counties.
BeShear appointed Williams to a circuit judgeship and Sara Beth Gregory, Monticello, a member of the House, won a special election to fill the remainder of Williams’ term in the Senate.

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