Second District Rep. Lynn Jenkins said Thursday she wants Kansas legislators to keep the Manhattan area in the district when they redraw political boundaries.
Jenkins told The Associated Press she believes the lines of her district need only minimal changes. She represents the 2nd Congressional District, which includes much of eastern Kansas.
State lawmakers must redraw the districts to account for population changes over the past decade. The 2nd District must pick up only 3,200 residents to reach the ideal population of about 713,000.
The neighboring 1st District of western and central Kansas is nearly 58,000 residents short. Some legislators are talking about expanding its territory to take in Manhattan and Riley County. The county is on the border between the First and Second Districts, and the county’s population is approximately the amount needed to expand the First District.
One potential complication of such a move is that a portion of Manhattan is also in neighboring Pottawatomie County. So if Riley County is moved into the First District, either Pottawatomie County would have to be taken as well or the city of Manhattan would have to be split between two Congressional districts.
Jenkins said Manhattan officials have made a good case that their community has more in common with eastern Kansas.