Stein Could Lose Senate Seat

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Updated: 1/18/2012 6:25 pm
A Lexington State Senator may lose her seat in the upper chamber because of redistricting.  It’s one of the new twists in the political cat fight which is raging at the statehouse over the redrawing of Kentucky General Assembly and congressional districts.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee passed redistricting bills along party lines, 7-4, Wednesday.

The most glaring maneuver would keep Senator Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, from seeking re-election this year if the Senate proposal passes the General Assembly.  Stein’s current 13th district covers downtown Lexington.  The Senate plan moves that district to several counties in northeast Kentucky including Mason.

Stein, who is up for re-election, would have her district changed to the fourth, which is not up for re-election until 2014.  That would mean a Democratic Senator from Henderson, more than 200 miles from Lexington, would represent Stein’s current constituents.

“It is petty, petty politics,” Stein told ABC 36 News.

When asked if the redistricting plan was a vendetta against Stein, committee chairman Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said “no.”  He said he was “trying to make the map work.”

The redrawing of 38 Senate districts pits incumbents against each other in three districts.

Senator Walter Blevins, D-Morehead, said the lines need to be “fair and more compact.” 

The plan moves him into a district with Majority Floor Leader Robert Stivers, R-Manchester.  The district snakes from Morehead south all the way to Knox County.

The Senate panel also passed a congressional redistricting bill which follows current boundaries more than the House version.  It does move Powell, Estill and most of Montgomery County out of central Kentucky’s sixth district and move all of Scott County into the district.

Wednesday’s maneuvers come on the heels of last week’s votes in the Democrat controlled House, where Minority Leader Jeff Hoover said the Democrats were “political cowards.”

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