Iowa politicians are carefully reviewing maps released this morning which outline new Congressional and legislative districts. The two “Jims” Iowa has in Congress are thrown together in one district. Congressman Jim Leach of Davenport says he’s not moving, nor is he retiring. Congressman Jim Nussle of Manchester says he expects the reapportionment plan to become law, and might move into another district so he doesn’t have to face Leach, a fellow republican, in 2002. It’s not clear, though, whether the plan will be enacted, as Republicans at the statehouse worry it heavily favors democrats. Three of the new Congressional districts would have a democrat voter registration edge. And lots of republican legislators are forced into primary battles against one another. In all, half of the House members must either move or face-off against an incumbent colleague. In the Senate, 20 members are thrown into a race against another Senator. Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the results of the map indicate that Iowa’s population has shifted. He says the redistricting isn’t a “slam dunk” for either party.House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says the G-O-P’s biggest complaint at this point is how large some of the districts are. He says some districts stretch across several counties. Rants says the public hearings may raise concerns over the layout of the districts.However, there’s little difference between the districts when you compare ’em on population. There’s a 130-voter difference between the largest and the smallest of the Congressional districts.
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