Representation Questions Linger After Redistricting

Nov 7, 2013

Uncertainty about representation in Kentucky legislative districts is resurfacing months after lawmakers in Frankfort redrew the boundary lines.

During the debate over redistricting, lawmakers considered the question of who would represent constituents in areas that have moved into new districts and which district lines would be used in the event of a special election.

But despite the inclusion of an emergency clause in the new redistricting maps that put them into effect immediately upon passage, confusion still exists about who represents whom. Legislative staffers say constituents are asking whether they’re currently represented by the lawmaker they last elected or the legislator who lives in their redrawn district.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer told the Legislative Research Commission that constituents should be given the names of lawmakers from newly drawn districts, but House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Kentuckians expect their lawmakers to be the ones they last elected.

Thayer claims several House Republican members have been denied messages from constituents in the newly drawn districts, which could hurt their re-election efforts as the GOP tries to gain control of the House in next year's elections – a charge Stumbo has denied.