With Indiana House Republicans making public their redistricting maps, several incumbents from both parties have been drawn together.
Ten districts in the new maps would have incumbents running against each other – three in which two Republicans reside, three in which two Democrats reside, and four that would pit a Democratic representative against a current Republican incumbent.
Unionville Representative Jeff Espich, one of the longest serving members of the House, would now be in a district with fellow GOP member Dan Leonard. Leonard said he understands that population shifts forced the change.
“If you go one way you pick up an incumbent,” he said, “you go another way you pick up an incumbent. Did I want to run against Jeff Espich? Absolutely not!”
Leonard said he has no plans to retire or move.
Bloomington Representative Matt Pierce is one of the Democrats drawn into a race against a Republican, Martinsville Representative Ralph Foley. Pierce said the new district does a disservice to the people he currently represents.
“Well, I thought it was a joke,” he said. “You’re supposed to respect communities of interest when you draw these maps.”
Pierce said he hasn’t decided what to do yet. Candidates for Indiana House seats must live in the district they wish to represent for a year prior to the election.
The House elections committee will hear public testimony on the maps Wednesday before voting them through to the full House.