Shelby stays whole in new legislative districts

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County is solo district in House; Senate district moves north, west

By Todd Martin

Kentucky’s lawmakers ended a 5-day special session on Friday as Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law the redistricting plans for both the House and Senate.


That 1-week special session cost the state about $300,000.

Shelby County stayed intact in both plans, easing the strain of the wait on local officials.

County Clerk Sue Carole Perry said her voting precincts already were redrawn with the hopes of Shelby County’s not being split.

States go through redistricting every 10 years to coincide with the census, as it shows shifting populations. Kentucky’s population grew from 4 million to 4.3 million between 2000 and 2010.

The redrawn boundaries have the House putting four incumbent Democrats (districts 100 and 97) and four incumbent Republicans (districts 9 and 17) in the same districts, but no incumbents would square off in the Senate’s plan.

Federal judges still will have the final say, but both sides seem to be pleased with the changes.

Both local representatives said they believe the plan is fair and that they’re happy with their new districts.

Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) had the biggest changes. His new 20th District loses Spencer and Bullitt counties, but he picks up Henry, Trimble, Carroll and some of eastern Jefferson counties, and Hornback said he doesn’t mind the move north up the Ohio River and west.

“It’s fine,” he said. “I’m very pleased. It’s a great plan, and I feel like both the House and Senate did a good job and were very fair. We followed the math and found a plan that fits.”

Although one Senate district is slightly smaller than the plus-or-minus 5 percent population window, Hornback said it shouldn’t be a problem.

“They’re actually over-represented with a number about five-point-eight percent low, but I believe that both plans should pass the judges opinion,” he said.

Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) lost the part of Spencer County that made up his 58th District. Spencer now moves in to the 53rd with Anderson County, and Montell now represents only his home county.

“I knew we would lose Spencer County, and for a long time it looked like I would have a small part of Oldham County, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the maps. I couldn’t be happier not only with my district, but with the plan as whole.

“Every plan we had seen before was very punitive to the minority [Republican] party, but I feel like this plan is very fair for both sides.”

Montell said he believes the courts will see the one outlying Senate district as a “good faith plan” and that it shouldn’t be a problem.

“That’s very minor, but I really believe an effort was really made to do this both constitutionally and in a fair manner.”

One new house district (36) was created in the realignment, and Shelby County native Jerry T. Miller of Eastwood, a Republican representative on the Louisville Metro Council, immediately on Friday announced his candidacy for the seat.