Idaho's successful citizen redistricting commission, having wrapped up its task in just two weeks, says it paid no attention to where incumbents lived - and and didn't even know which incumbent matchups it had created, including putting the House speaker into a district with four other House incumbents. Instead, the commissioner said they tried to focus on sensible, compact districts that worked for communities. “The clerks are going to love us, because everything used major roads, it's squared,” said GOP Commissioner Randy Hansen. “We put together what we felt was best for the community as a whole. … So yes, somebody's going to be ticked off because they're running against somebody else. I love what Dolores said - if you're a good enough politician, you'll win.”
Added Democratic commission Co-Chair Ron Beitelspacher, a former longtime state senator, “And there's life after the Legislature, I might add.”
Here, the commissioners sign commemorative copies for each other of the legislative district plan they agreed on unanimously, 6-0. They'll gather again tomorrow morning at 10, and will formally present their legislative and congressional district maps to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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