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Missouri Lawmakers Hope to Resolve New Map This Week

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Despite a conflict between two potential Congressional maps in Missouri, both would merge Rep. Russ Carnahan’s district into Rep. William Lacy Clay’s, forcing him to challenge Clay or run in another district.

However, some of the stalemate is a result of local GOP lawmakers having designs on running for some of the very House seats they are currently drawing. Their ambitions are also complicated by the fact that it could be decades before Republicans will have such control and influence over the new lines, making the stakes even higher for this redistricting session.

For example, state Sen. Tom Dempsey (R), a leader on the redistricting committee, has an interest in keeping his base in St. Charles County in Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s district. According to a GOP source close to the situation, Dempsey is interested in running for the Republican’s seat someday. Dempsey, the state Senate majority floor leader, did not return an e-mail request for an interview.

State Rep. John Diehl (R), another rising star in the Legislature and chairman of the state House’s redistricting committee, has a base in Town and Country, Mo., just east of the disputed area. The new map could set up Diehl for a potential Congressional run in the district currently represented by Rep. Todd Akin (R), who is considering a bid for Senate.

Despite the tight deadline, Republicans still expressed cautious optimism that state lawmakers could agree on a map in the next couple of days.

“When I die, I want to be buried in Jefferson City, because that’s where things are resurrected,” quipped one Republican operative close to the redistricting process.

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