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By BETH ZUMWALT
Illinois lost a congressional seat after the 2020 census showed a decline in population. The new map would most likely affect downstate Illinois and after it was released last week, that is the case.
Pike and Scott Counties will now be placed in the 15th district and represented by Rodney Davis. The previous U.S. Representative for this area was Darrin LaHood in the 18th district.
“Davis is a fine congressman,” Blake Roderick, of the Pike-Scott Farm Bureau, said. “We’ve worked with him before on flood control issues when he was assistant to John Shimkus and he was great to work with. He is friend of agriculture.”
Davis’s new district is agriculture laden, running from the Missouri to the Indiana border and runs from just south of Moline to south of Edwardsville in it’s deepest portion.
Phil Bradshaw, the driving force behind getting New Philadelphia in Pike County a national parks designation, said he is not concerned about the new representative. LaHood had been a champion of the movement to have the property, where Frank McWorter, a former slave who bought his and his family’s freedom,started a community in Hadley Township in Pike County. The community is now just a barren field, but several artifacts and remnants of buildings have been found during excavation digs by various universities.
“I think we will be all right,” Bradshaw said. “We have paid off our debt and are in good shape. Davis signed on as a sponsor of the bill when Lahood sponsored it in the house and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has said said he can get it through the Senate. We could go with a presidential designation as a national site if we had too, but we would rather go ahead and get congressional approval which comes with funding. We are alright now, but, down the road, there will be needs.”
Roderick said the Illinois General Assembly approved the “obviously gerrymandered” maps favoring Democrat candidates just after midnight Oct 29 at the close of their six-day Veto session.
The Democrat led Congressional redistricting map favors Democrats by a 14 to three margin. Currently, Illinois has five Republican and 13 Democrat Congressmen.
The Senate approved HB 1291 with 41 yes and 18 no votes. The House approved the measure 71 to 43. The Governor has not yet signed the map into law, but he is expected to do so shortly.
Lawsuits to the map are expected.
Pike and Scott Counties also are in-line for new legislators on the state level with, Amy Eilk as the new representative and Jil tracy as senator, replacing C.D.Davidsmeyer as representative and Steve McClure as senator. Those maps are also under legal scrutiny.
Primaries will be held in June to determine candidates for the 2022 November elections.