Commonwealth Journal

May 2, 2013

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

Governor may call a special session to address redistricting

by Bill Mardis
Commonwealth Journal

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.
If Beshear does call a special session, and if the House and Senate OK the realigned and proposed House legislative districts, the four House districts in Pulaski County would be as follows:
52nd District, represented by Ken Upchurch, Monticello, who recently won a special election to fill a vacancy created when Gregory was elected to the Senate.
53rd District, represented by David Meade of Stanford. Meade, who succeeded Danny Ford, currently represents what is now designated the 80th District.
83rd District, represented by Jeff Hoover of Jamestown.
85th District, represented by Tommy Turner of Pulaski County.
The proposed 52nd House District includes Wayne and McCreary counties and six precincts in Pulaski County:  Firebrook No. 11F; Okolona No.16; Burnside County No. 36A; Bourbon West No.10W; West Burnside County No. 36W and Bronston North No. 38.
The proposed 53rd House District includes Casey and Lincoln counties and four precincts in Pulaski County: Ansel No. 21; Eubank No. 25; Estesburg No. 26; and Goodhope No. 28.
The proposed 83rd House District includes Russell, Clinton and Cumberland counties and 10 precincts in Pulaski County: Saline North; Nancy No.15; Harrison No.17; Saline South; E Naomi No. 44; W Naomi No. 44; Girdler No.12; Hickorynut No. 19; Fall Branch No.18; and Somerset No. 5E.
The proposed 85th House District represents four precincts in Laurel County and 38 precincts in Pulaski County: Somerset No. 5B; Somerset No. 3B; Science Hill No. 22; Science Hill No. 23; Buncombe No. 24; Somerset No. 1; Somerset No. 3A; Mt. Zion No. 47; Somerset No. 2; Caney Fork No.13; Somerset No. 4A; Somerset No. 4B; Price No. 27; Somerset No. 6; Hazeldell No. 29; Vaught No. 43; Catron No. 31; Dallas No. 45; Somerset No. 3C; Somerset No. 5A; Rush Branch No.14;  Parker No. 9; Mark No. 30; Bourbon East No. 10E; Mayfield No. 32; Mt. Victory No. 33; Ferguson No. 8; Colo No. 35; Gilliland No. 40; Somerset No. 5C; Somerset No. 5D; Somerset No. 4C; Burnside City No. 36; North Burnside City No. 36N; East Burnside County No. 36E; South Burnside County No. 36S; Gamblin No. 37; and Bronston No. 38.