State Senate’s 1st District now includes Maplewood

Redistricting Commission votes 10-0 to approve new Senate districts

By Kari Williams

Sen. Jim Lembke’s 1st District now extends all the way to Maplewood, according to the state’s new Senate districts.

The new districts were unanimously approved Monday.

Lembke, a Republican from Lemay, told the Call he would have liked to see a map that was more compact as far as south county communities are concerned.

“I would have liked to have seen a district that could take communities like Oakville and Mehlville and Bayless and Affton,” he said. “And the district, as it has been approved, has Maplewood and Oakville in the same district.”

The 1st Senate District, according to Lembke, traditionally has been a south city and south county district.

“That’s the way the maps came out, and I’m going to have to make a decision if I want to run in that (1st) District or the 15th (District),” Lembke said.

The Senate Redistricting Commission, comprised of five Democrats and Five republicans, voted 10-0 to approve the new districts. Doug Harpool, the Senate Redistricting Committee chairman and former Democratic member of the Missouri House, said five or six changes were made to the tentative map, which was submitted in February.

Areas that had changes included a part of southwest Missouri, a part of north central Missouri and a St. Louis area.

Harpool said population was redistributed among the 4th, 13th and 14th districts.

“(The redistribution was done to) balance the population between the districts more evenly,” he said.

The final Senate map, according to Harpool, is a fair compromise.

“It’s not the map that the Democratic party wanted written. It’s not the map that the Rep party wanted written … but it’s 10 citizens, five from each party, (who) sat down and agreed …,” he said.