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Branstad signs Iowa redistricting plans

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April 19, 2011

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By Tyler Millhouse

DES MOINES, Iowa: Governor Terry Branstad (R) has signed Iowa's 2011 redistricting plan.[1] All three maps -- Congressional, Senate, and House -- are included in the legislation. Last week, the Iowa State Legislature approved the first redistricting proposal drafted by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency. The plan passed by a 48-1 margin in the State Senate and a 90-7 margin in the Iowa House.[2]

Iowa employs a unique process for drafting its new maps. The Iowa Legislative Services Agency generates the maps without considering partisan factors. In addition, state legislators are not permitted to modify the bills as drafted by the agency until two successive drafts have been rejected. The first two bills must be given a simple "up or down" vote. The new maps will ultimately favor Democrats, but GOP lawmakers backed the plan rather than risk a second draft even less friendly to state legislative incumbents.

The congressional plan puts Representatives Tom Latham (R) and Steve King (R) together in District 4 and pairs Reps. Bruce Braley (D) and David Loebsack (D) together in District 1. However, Loebsack lives only 20 miles from District 2 and Johnson County, the Democratic stronghold of his current district. In addition. Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) will remain alone in District 3, leaving District 2 open for Loebsack.[3] Both Latham and Loebsack have announced plans to move. Latham will move to challenge Boswell in the 3rd District and Loebsack will move to the empty 2nd District.[1]

The state plan creates seven match-ups between state senators -- 1 Democratic pair, 2 bi-partisan match-ups and 3 Republican pairs. Notably, the plan will pair Senate President Jack Kibbie (D) with incumbent Republican David Johnson (R).[4][5] In the House, 3 districts pair Democrats, 9 districts pair Republicans, and 1 district has a bi-partisan match-up. A total of 14 of the state's 100 House districts will be left with no incumbent.[6]

Iowa is the second state in the nation to enact both congressional and legislative maps. Only Louisiana, which requires Justice Department pre-clearance, approved maps sooner.

Signed 2011 maps

The maps as signed by the Governor can be found below:[7]

  

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