Kobach Asks Federal Court To Settle Redistricting

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Attorneys on both sides of a federal lawsuit filed in Kansas over political redistricting have ties to House Speaker Mike O'Neal.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach filed his response Wednesday to the lawsuit from Robyn Renee Essex, a Republican precinct committee
member from Olathe. Kobach is the only defendant, and his attorney is Ryan Kriegshauser, a deputy assistant secretary of state.

Kriegshauser's wife, Christie, is O'Neal's chief of staff.

One of Essex's attorneys is Brent Haden, of Columbia, Mo. Haden is a former chief of staff for O'Neal.

Both Kobach and O'Neal are conservative Republicans, and GOP conservatives are locked in a dispute with moderate Republicans
over redrawing the Senate's 40 districts.

But Kobach said during a news conference that he doesn't know Essex and isn't consulting with O'Neal.

UPDATE: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is asking a federal court to settle political redistricting issues for the Kansas Legislature.

Kobach made his request Wednesday in response to a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month over redistricting. Kobach, the state's chief elections officer, is the defendant in the case, which was filed by a Republican precinct committee member in Olathe.

He's asking that a panel of three judges impose plans to adjust the state's political boundaries.

Kobach's filing came shortly before a news conference he scheduled to discuss redistricting and only hours before the Senate was debate a plan for redrawing the chamber's 40 districts.

An impasse among majority Republicans in the Senate has prevented any redistricting proposals from passing and threatens to
delay the state's Aug. 7 primary election.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is preparing to discuss legal issues surrounding redistricting before a Kansas Senate debate on a proposal for redrawing the chamber's 40 districts.

Kobach is the state's chief elections officer and a former law professor.

Kobach announced his Wednesday morning news conference on Tuesday, several hours before a meeting of Senate Republicans broke down amid disagreements on a proposed map favored by GOP moderates.

The dispute forced postponement of a planned debate Tuesday night.

The GOP impasse threatens to delay the state's Aug. 7 primary election. Lawmakers must adjust political boundaries to account for changes in population over the past decade.


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