Sunday, May 27, 2001

Oldham Co. holds key

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — The boundaries of Kentucky's congressional districts would remain roughly the same under a proposal drafted by members of the delegation.

        However, the proposal would move Oldham County from the 4th District to the 3rd District. That improves the GOP's chances of holding onto the 3rd, which is dominated by Louisville.

        Another change would take three rural counties with Democratic majorities — Harrison, Nicholas and Bath — out of Central Kentucky's 6th District and put them in the 4th District. Republican Ernie Fletcher won the 6th in 1998 and held it in 2000.

        U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a senior member of the delegation, said Friday that all six U.S. House members worked on the plan and support it, said Mr. Rogers, a Republican who represents the 5th District.

        Mr. Rogers said the plan is good because it keeps 119 of the 120 counties intact and divides the state's population almost perfectly. The only county that would be split is Jefferson.

        Every district is within one percent of the ideal population of 673,628, Mr. Rogers said.

        The proposal would shift 10 counties among the state's six districts to address popula tion changes since 1990, but these changes appear to be less significant than moving Oldham.

        Oldham County is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, but has voted solidly for GOP candidates in recent years.

        U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, a Republican who has represented the 3rd District since 1996, said she supports moving Oldham County into her area, but acknowledged the proposal will have critics.

        “There are some people saying that if I get Oldham County, it makes it a more Republican district, and that's true,” she said.

        The state legislature has to approve redistricting plans for federal House districts and for state House and Senate districts. Gov. Paul Patton has not said whether he will call a special session this year or wait to consider the issue in the 2002 session.


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- Oldham Co. holds key