Two eastern Iowa Congressman would be forced to run against one another in 2002 if the redistricting plan released this morning becomes law. Congressmen Jim Leach of Davenport and Jim Nussle of Manchester would be thrown together in a new First District. House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says the Leach/Nussle situation may cause lawmakers to reject the plan. But Siegrist says there’s a chance the re-drawn lines for legislative districts might be good enough that a majority of Iowa House and Senate members would vote to implement the plan.Bill Tate, Congressman Leach’s press secretary, says Leach will not retire. Republicans say Nussle might move into the new third, and Congressman Tom Latham of Alexander might move out of the new third into the fifth so they could run unopposed. The maps were written by a non-partisan agency and released at nine this morning. Congressional and legislative districts are re-drawn every ten years to account for population shifts. Legislators immediately opened their maps to see if the newly drawn district lines would force them to run against another legislator. Moments before the maps were released, most every legislator talked with bravado about how they were not nervous about the event. Representative Dave Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, joked about the situation about 15 minutes before he got his map. But some readily admitted their trepidation beforehand, like Representative Dolores Mertz, a democrat from Ottosen. Mertz said there’d be a sign once she looked at the map for her new district. The new First Congressional District has the following counties: Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Linn, Jones, Jackson, Cedar, Clinton and Scott. The new Second Congressional District has the following counties: Lee, Van Buren, Davis, Appanoose, Wayne, Decatur, Union, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Louisa, Washington, Keokuk, Mahaska, Marion, Warren, Jasper, Poweshiek, Johnson and Muscatine. The new Third Congressional District has the following counties: Kossuth, Winnebago, Worth, Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Chickasaw, Fayette, Humboldt, Wright, Franklin, Butler, Bremer, Webster, Hamilton, Hardin, Grundy, Black Hawk and Buchanan. The new Fourth Congressional District has the following counties: Greene, Boone, Story, Marshall, Dallas, Polk and Madison. The new Fifth Congressional District has the following counties: Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Sioux, O’Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Fremont, Page, Taylor and Ringgold.
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