Republicans are expected to unveil long-awaited redistricting maps this week. House elections chairman Eric Koch and other committee members held nine hearings last month on what standards to use in drawing the maps. Speaker Brian Bosma said the house Democrats‘ walkout has delayed the process by about a week. He says legislators wanted to get each legislator‘s thoughts on his or her district before turning to the process of redrawing. He said the maps have to emerge from committee this week to be completed by the deadline.
“Our five week absence here makes that very difficult, ” Bosma said. “It was my hope, that we would, our order is to hear the public first, then try to reflect that.”
Second district congressman Joe Donnelly may have the most to lose from redistricting. He won reelection last year by a single percentage point, and Republicans may look for ways to tip the balance against him. In a response to Bosma‘s request for feedback, Donnelly urged legislators to keep heavily Democratic St. Joseph and Laporte counties in the second district, along with Marshall and Fulton counties. Bosma said Republicans won‘t deliberately draw incumbents into the same district, but doesn‘t rule out the possibility.