A Republican Congressman hopes his fellow Republicans in the Missouri Senate drop their opposition to a redistricting map and let proposed new lines for Congressional districts pass. Congressman Sam Graves, who represents northern Missouri, says the Conservative Caucus in the Missouri Senate is playing a dangerous game, mounting a filibuster against a plan that likely keeps the political status quo and promoting one caucus members hope could result in a Missouri Congressional delegation of seven Republicans and one Democrat.
“The problem is you’re going to have years that are Republican years and years that are Democrat years,” Graves tells Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph. “So if you’re thinking in terms of partisan politics, in a Democrat year it could be a disaster for the state if you make those districts so that you have so many un-commonalities within a district it could turn the state into a 4-4 state rather than a 6-2 state.”
Graves, the senior member of the state Congressional delegation, favors the redistricting plan passed by the Missouri House that likely retains the state’s Congressional delegation as is. He says the push for a 7-1 map would likely backfire on Republicans, making once safe Republican districts vulnerable to a strong Democratic challenger.
Graves says such efforts don’t always turn out the way supporters plan.
“There isn’t always going to be a Republican wave or a Democrat wave,” according to Graves. “It is going to go back and forth, depending on what’s going on at the federal level.”
Graves says he doesn’t understand the opposition to the map favored by Republican leaders in the Missouri Senate.
“I thought we had a good consensus map in the House that came out of the Missouri House and, again, then it broke down in the Senate, which is unfortunate, because then if it goes to the courts it’s a coin toss,” Graves says. “We have no way of knowing what we get.”
The Conservative Caucus has used the filibuster to prevent a vote on the plan approved in the Missouri House.
By Brent Martin of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph