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Proposed Senate map would give county, city own districts

By The Mercury

Riley County and metropolitan Manhattan would get its own state Senate district under one of two proposed maps presented Tuesday by the co-chair of the redistricting committee.

The two maps were offered by State Sen. Tim Owens, a Johnson County Republican, in advance of the Senate’s consideration of how to redraw the boundaries for its 40 members.

The current map, adopted in 2002, splits Manhattan and Riley County into two Senate districts. The 21st District, represented by Republican Mark Taddiken of Clifton, includes the Northview area of Manhattan and all of Riley County north of Marlatt Avenue. The 22nd District, represented by Republican Roger Reitz of Manhattan, includes the cities of Manhattan, Ogden and Junction City, as well as rural Riley County areas south of the city.

One of the new maps would move the boundaries of the 22nd District to include all of Riley County along with the southwestern townships of Pottawatomie County, those nearest Manhattan. On that map, most of the remainder of Pottawatomie County would be moved from the First District, represented by Sen. Dennis Pyle of Hiawatha, into Taddiken’s 21st District. Junction City would also be relocated into Taddiken’s district.

A second map also submitted by Owens would split Riley County essentially on an east-west basis. Most of the eastern portion, including Manhattan and extending north to about Randolph, would join Pottawatomie County and the eastern portion of Geary County in a new 22nd District. The western portion of the county – including Ogden, Riley and Leonardville — would be in Taddiken’s 21st District along with Junction City. The Zeandale area would be moved into the 18th Senate District, currently represented by Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat.

The Senate redistricting committee has not yet announced a date for hearings on either of the maps.

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