State representative district includes part of Warren - Harper hopes House, Senate finish redistricting

Author: Oj Stapleton
News-Democrat & Leader
March 8, 2013

This week in Frankfort, the House of Representatives State Government Committee approved House Bill 2, which sets the new redistricting plan for the state.

Redistricting for both House and Senate seats were supposed to take place a year ago - but both maps were struck down by the courts after they were challenged.

This led to candidates having to refile for their old seats - including Logan County's Martha Jane King, who had filed to run for a state senate seat.

With the new map, King's District 16 does not change much at all. Currently her district includes all of Logan and Todd counties. The new district - if it is ultimately approved - will include all of Logan and Todd, plus a small portion of western Warren County.

Logan County clerk Scottie Harper is hoping that the new House map - as well as one for the Senate - can be approved sooner rather than later.

He also has to redistrict Logan County, but that can't happen until the state legislature has drawn their maps.

"Under the statute, we can't open our precincts up for changes until they have done their reapportionment," Harper said. "This greatly impacts us because we can't move our people until they are finished with their changes."

This year is an off year for elections and Harper is hoping to be able to do his work for redistricting the county well before next year's election season, which will see many county seats - including all the magistrates - up for grabs.

"I am hoping as the county clerk that the state legislature will get this resolved during this session or come back in a special session later this year and get it done," Harper said. "This is an off year and that would allow my staff and myself to do a lot of work that needs to be done for our redistricting."

The Logan County fiscal court passed a resolution earlier this year asking the state legislature to get its redistricting done.

"I've worked with our representative, Martha Jane King, and our state senator, Whitney Westerfield, and they've done everything they can from their side," Harper said. "They're both trying to work with their sides to make sure it gets done."