House redistricting map creates bipartisan celebration

Unlike most other redistricting maps, the one drawing new boundaries for 125 Kansas House districts drew bipartisan support. It doesn't force incumbents to compete against each other, and reflects a population shift to urban areas.

By

State News

March 23, 2022 - 2:44 PM

Rep. John Toplikar, an Olathe Republican, wanted to amend the Kansas House map reorganizing the chamber’s 125 districts but surrendered to the disarming bipartisan view of colleagues who decided not to engage in a big debate. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Olathe Rep. John Toplikar settled into his seat at the Capitol to prepare for a partisan debate on a map outlining new boundaries of the 125 Kansas House districts.

He was eager to convince a majority of peers to vote for a tweak in the northeast section of his district in Johnson County. And, then, one after another Republican and Democratic legislators grabbed a microphone to praise the work of Rep. Chris Croft, the Overland Park Republican who led the special redistricting committee through months of mapmaking.

“I thought about running an amendment,” Toplikar said. “I think I wound up at the celebration instead of the debate. Apparently, we’ve all agreed to move forward. So, I guess I’ll just join in the celebration.”

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