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New congressional districts complicate Missouri’s August primaries

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Missouri lawmakers agreed on a congressional map just last week, but candidates had to decide which district to file in months ago. Now, some candidates no longer live in the district they filed for.

State Rep. Sara Walsh (R-Ashland) dropped out of the race to represent Missouri's Fourth Congressional District on Monday because she and the people she currently represents no longer live in that district. The new map splits Boone County in two, with a line that runs through Columbia and along Interstate 70.

Walsh cited her husband's recent death and the fact that she no longer lives in the district as reasons for dropping out of the race. Walsh voted in favor of the map when it came up in the Missouri House of Representatives.

"I voted for the map because I believe it was good for conservatives and good for Missouri," Walsh said in a press release. "However, the newly drawn district that removes my strongest base of support has a severe impact on the chances of success for my campaign."

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2022-05-04-at-2.29.19-PM.png
Congressional map passed out of the Missouri legislature.

However, she's not the only candidate to no longer live in the district.

Former Boone County clerk Taylor Burks, who lives in southern Boone County and has a Hartsburg address, no longer lives in the Fourth District. Burks is also the candidate in the fourth district race who has raised the most money, at $624,404 in receipts according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Burks said he will move his family to northern Boone County, which is part of the Fourth District. Burks said he has strong ties to all of Missouri's Fourth District, Boone County especially, and wants to show voters he's committed to the district.

"We're not going to let the gerrymandering process in Jefferson City throw off our campaign," Burks said.

According to the Missouri constitution, candidates for U.S. House of Representatives don't have to live in the district they're running for. Two candidates were moved out of the Third Congressional District as well, Republican Brandon Wilkinson and Democrat Bethany Mann.

Redistricting is a process that happens every 10 years to create voting districts that most accurately represent U.S. Census data. Missouri House and Senate and city ward districts were also redrawn. However, the U.S. congressional districts were stalled when lawmakers in Jefferson City could not agree on a map.

Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon told ABC 17 News last week this puts a strain on her office as they work quickly to create the ballots by the May 24 deadline for the August primary election.

Fourth Congressional District candidates:

Republican:

  • Jim (Soupy) Campbell
  • Rick Brattin
  • William (Bill) Irwin
  • Mark Alford
  • Kalena Bruce
  • Taylor Burks
  • Kyle Stonner LaBrue

Democratic:

  • Jack Truman

Liberatarian:

  • Randy Langkraehr

Third Congressional District candidates:

Republican:

  • Josh Ciskowski
  • Brandon Wilkinson
  • Blaine Luetkemeyer (incumbent)
  • Dustin Hill
  • Richard Skwira Jr.

Democratic:

  • Jon Karlen
  • Bethany Mann
  • Andrew Daly
  • Dylan Durrwachter

The primary election for U.S. Congress is on August 2.

Author Profile Photo

Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. The map splitting Columbia and Boone county by Broadway is the most redlining racist and Jim Crow-like congressional map splitting decision by lawmakers in Missouri ever! It’s wrong and disenfranchises the North side of Columbia and Boone county.

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