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Missouri lawmakers adopt US House districts with GOP edge

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Legislature has approved new congressional districts that are expected to continue Republicans’ edge in upcoming elections.

The 22-11 vote Thursday night by the Senate ended a stalemate that had dominated the legislative session. The bill now goes to Gov. Mike Parson to become law.

After approving the bill, the Senate adjourned for the session — cutting off work on all other bills. Missouri and New Hampshire are the only states that had not at least enacted a congressional redistricting plan based on the 2020 census.

The new map is similar to what’s already in place. It keeps both military bases, Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base, in the 4th District. It puts more of St. Charles County in the same district. In the current map, the population in the county is split 65% to 35%.

It also leaves the Democrat seat, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s district, in Jackson County but splits the county three ways — between the 5th, 6th, and 4th Districts. It also chops Webster County, near Springfield, into two districts. Under the current map, nearly all of Webster County was in the 4th District. Under the new version, it would be split in half between the 4th and 7th Districts. 

Jefferson City would also be split between the 3rd and the 8th Districts. In his version he proposed Monday, he said that they had to cut farther into Jefferson County in order to keep Phelps all within the 8th District. 

Boone County is also split between the 3rd and 4th Districts along Broadway and I-70, frustrating the lawmakers who represent that area. The House approved the map 104-47 and then later approved the emergency clause with 114 votes, which would make the map effective as soon as the governor signs the legislation.

Now that it’s passed by the lower chamber, it heads to the Senate. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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