NewsLocal News


Leaders, Johnson County key for Kansas redistricting panels

Kansas State Capitol .jpg
Posted at 3:28 PM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 16:28:44-04

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas' most populous county has the most seats on legislative committees that will draft redistricting proposals next year, and three Senate leaders are members of its panel.

Three of nine members of the Republican-controlled Senate Redistricting Committee are from Johnson County, not only the state's most populous county but also one likely to gain political clout because of population shifts. Four of 17 members of the GOP-controlled House committee are from Johnson County.

Lawmakers redraw congressional, legislative and State Board of Education districts once every decade. In 2012, their debates became so contentious - particularly between GOP conservatives and moderates - that legislators failed to pass any redistricting measures and three federal judges redrew district boundaries.

Senate President Ty Masterson has noted that his chamber's committee has members from each of the state's four congressional districts. That's also true of the House committee.

Masterson, an Andover Republican, is vice chair of the Senate committee, and its chair is Senate Vice President Rick Wilborn, a McPherson Republican.

Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, also is a member of the Senate committee.

The House committee's chair is Republican Rep. Chris Croft, of Overland Park. None of the House's top leaders are members.