JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Those living in Columbia may find themselves in a different U.S. Congressional district than their neighbors if a map passed by the Missouri House of Representatives becomes law.
Rep. Dan Shaul (R-Imperial) introduced a new map Wednesday with just enough time to get it passed through the House and Senate if everything goes according to his plan. However, the map has met opposition from House Democrats for splitting up several communities, including Columbia. Now that the map passed out of the House, it has four days to be approved by the Senate or miss the deadline.
Missouri is the only state that hasn't finalized a new map, however, three other states are still in limbo because of lawsuits and vetoes. Although lawmakers in Jefferson City have been working on new congressional maps all year, the Senate and the House cannot agree on a map.
The map the Senate proposed also split Columbia, but State Sen. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) is ok with the split.
"Having two congresspeople, one of which is Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth) who has been there for a decade and is you know presumably going to be the chair of financial services if we take the majority, you know having a guy like that batting for your team is something that I'm absolutely fine with," Rowden said.
However, State Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia) is not a fan of the area he represents being split up.
"It makes you wonder what's behind that, like who has something to gain by this?" Smith said. "There's obviously something going on behind the scenes where somebody, it's in someone's political favor to do this."
State Rep. Sara Walsh (R-Ashland) likes that the map amplifies the rural voters she represents, although it moves her entire district into the third congressional district. This could be concerning to her as she's running for Rep. Vicky Hartzler's seat in the fourth district.
"I was concerned in the Senate's version that it would dilute the rural vote and voice," Walsh said. "They're going to have a loud voice in that district so I'm supporting that because it's in the best interest of my people."