By Dan Spalding
WARSAW — A Republican redistricting plan for Indiana State House districts would leave two local elected officials in the same newly-aligned district.
Republican lawmakers released their proposal for redistricting Congressional and Indiana House districts on Tuesday.
The proposals will establish new voting districts for the next 10 years, based on new U.S. Census data. Lawmakers still need to release the redistricting plans for the state senate and will convene later this month to vote on the proposals.
A significant rearranging of state house districts 18 and 22 have left District 18 State Rep. Craig Snow residing inside District 22, where Curt Nisly is the state representative.
That means the two Republicans – if they both seek reelection next year – would face each other in the primary.
Kosciusko County Republican Chair Mike Ragan said he’s not surprised about the District 22 circumstances and said those types of situations “happen in different places every 10 years.”
Neither Nisly nor Snow were immediately available for comment Wednesday.
As for District 18, the new map has 18 consuming much of what is currently House District 82, which is represented by David Abbott, of Rome City in Noble County.
Local Congressional districts in north-central Indiana are also shifting.
Under the new plan, the 2nd District, represented by Jackie Walorski, would expand over much more of Kosciusko County with only Turkey Creek and Tippecanoe townships in the county remaining in the 3rd District, which is represented by Jim Banks.
The city of Warsaw had been in the 3rd District and will shift to the 2nd District under the current plan.
Banks has been a common face in the Warsaw area since he was elected five years ago.
“Jim called me this afternoon to express his disappointment that he lost Warsaw,” Ragan said. “Of course, we were disappointed too, but at the same time, we didn’t lose anything because we have Jackie.”
Congressional lines have kept Kosciusko County significantly divided for decades, but local leaders have viewed it as having two Congressional offices they can appeal to rather than one. That was often the case when Republicans worked to sideline the medical device tax that was part of Obamacare.
Even though Banks’ jurisdiction in Kosciusko County is reduced to two townships, Ragan thinks Banks will continue to be a presence in Kosciusko County. He noted that the GOP’s favorite conference center, The Owl’s Nest, is inside the newly considered 2nd District.