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Plan aimed at keeping GOP supermajority clears Kansas Senate

March 18, 2022 GMT
Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, follows a vote on a plan for redrawing state Senate districts, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Pyle calls the plan "disgusting" because it makes extensive changes in his districts and he says he objects to how it "chopped up" parts of several counties. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, follows a vote on a plan for redrawing state Senate districts, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Pyle calls the plan "disgusting" because it makes extensive changes in his districts and he says he objects to how it "chopped up" parts of several counties. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, follows a vote on a plan for redrawing state Senate districts, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Pyle calls the plan "disgusting" because it makes extensive changes in his districts and he says he objects to how it "chopped up" parts of several counties. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, follows a vote on a plan for redrawing state Senate districts, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Pyle calls the plan "disgusting" because it makes extensive changes in his districts and he says he objects to how it "chopped up" parts of several counties. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, follows a vote on a plan for redrawing state Senate districts, Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Pyle calls the plan "disgusting" because it makes extensive changes in his districts and he says he objects to how it "chopped up" parts of several counties. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A redistricting plan aimed at preserving the Republican supermajority in the Kansas Senate cleared the chamber Thursday on a bipartisan vote.

The bill, approved 28-8, would create two districts with a pair of incumbents each. It could force Republican Sens. Michael Fagg, of El Dorado, and Rick Wilborn, of McPherson, to face off in 2024, while Republican Sen. Beverly Gossage, of Eudora, has a potential race that year against Democratic Sen. Tom Holland, of Baldwin City.

The measure goes next to the House.

Two new Senate districts would have no incumbent, one in Johnson County and another linking eastern Topeka and northwestern Lawrence. The Kansas Constitution requires lawmakers to redraw political boundaries this year to make districts as equal in population as possible after 10 years of population shifts.

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Twenty-three of the Senate’s 29 Republicans voted yes, as did five of the 11 Democrats.

“I don’t think you would see that result with a map that was considered unfair,” said Senate President Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican.

But Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle, of Hiawatha, called the measure “disgusting” because it extensively alters his district.

GOP Sen. Molly Baumgardner, of Louisburg, had the most overpopulated district. She argued that it should shrink in size; it would gain territory under the bill.

“They gerrymandered like crazy,” Baumgardner said.