Ohio Redistricting

Now that backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to change the redistricting process have enough valid signatures to put the issue on the statewide ballot, attention turns to how to sell it to voters.  The supporters of the plan already have their mantra…..people not politicians.  But now opponents of the plan have a mantra of their own…..protect your vote.  Jenny Camper is with a group that plans to fight the proposed redistricting plan. 

Justices in Ohio are weighing arguments that will determine the fate of Ohio's newly drawn legislative map.

Lawyers sparring before the Ohio Supreme Court Tuesday disagreed over the constitutionality of the new lines and the process by which they were drawn.

The attorney for Democrats, who filed suit on behalf of a group of Ohio voters, said it's clear the maps favoring Republicans violated provisions against gerrymandering.

Ohio's new 10th congressional district merges Montgomery and Greene Counties, as well as a part of Fayette County, changing the political landscape for 2012. Emily McCord speaks to Jessica Wehrman for this edition of PoliticsOhio. She's a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch based in Washington, D.C., and her stories appear in the Dayton Dailys News. Werhman breaks down what the changes the new map brings for Montgomery, Clark  and Greene Counties and what that means for congressional races and its national implications.

A Miami Valley Democrat who lost a congressional race in 2008 has announced she is running for Ohio’s new 10th congressional district. Sharen Neuhardt was the Democratic candidate against current congressman Steve Austria for the 7th district four years ago.

Since then, Ohio has gone through a redistricting process due to slow population growth. The new map was approved in December by lawmakers. It merges the 7th and the 3rd districts into what’s now the 10th congressional district. Neuhardt says she believes that the new map is an opportunity for Democrats.

Republican Representative Steve Austria from Beavercreek announced today that he will not be seeking reelection in the 2012 congressional race. Austria currently serves the 7th district, and would have faced a tough challenge ahead against Republican Congressman Mike Turner of the 3rd district.

The two were pitted against each other after Ohio released a new congressional map, merging the 3rd and 7th districts into a new 10th district. Ohio lost two congressional districts this year due to slow population growth.

Ohio's new congressional map consolidates a major air force base into a single district.

Southwest Ohio officials had said earlier they wanted Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to continue to have at least two representatives in Congress. However, the Dayton Daily News reports that they're confident the base's interests will be protected.

The base will be fully in the 10th District, which also pits Republican incumbents Mike Turner and Steve Austria.

On their last day of work this year, state lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a new map of Congressional districts and a new single date for the two statewide primaries that were scheduled next year. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the map flap finally came to an end in marathon sessions of the House and Senate.

State lawmakers wanting to re-establish a single 2012 primary for Ohio are trying to reach a deal on a date.

Action on a bill calling for one primary next year was temporarily delayed by an Ohio House panel on Wednesday so lawmakers could meet behind closed doors to continue discussing the timing.

Under the bill, separate primaries set for March and June would be reunited on May 22. Candidates including presidential contenders would have until March 8 to file. Those who met a deadline last week would not have to re-file.

Public documents obtained by Ohio voter advocates show a key representative of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner was central in drawing the state's disputed congressional map.

Records released today by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting show Tom Whatman, executive director of Team Boehner, participated in the process with legislative leaders, mapmaking consultants and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The correspondence includes a pledge by GOP Senate President Tom Niehaus  to deliver "a map that Speaker Boehner fully supports."

Candidates who want to run for one of Ohio’s 16 Congressional seats have to file petitions today, even though the primary they’d run in isn’t set till June. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports that’s because there’s still talk about merging that primary with the ones set for March into some other springtime date.

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