By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
A Senate Apportionment Commission approved a tentative state Senate redistricting map in the early hours of Feb. 23. The tentative map leaves Ray County in the 21st District, now represented by Sen. Bill Stouffer; however, it moves part of Clay County where Excelsior Springs resides into the 12th District represented by Sen. Brad Lager. The new 21st District includes Caldwell, Livingston, Ray, Carroll, Chariton, Lafayette, Saline, Howard and Johnson counties. Sen. Stouffer will serve until the end of this year as his term limit expires.
The commission, comprised of five Democrats and five Republicans, passed the map by an 8-2 vote. The Kansas City area was represented on the panel by Democrats W. Mitchell Elliott and Todd Patterson and Republican Jean Paul Bradshaw II.
In January, the Missouri Supreme Court invalidated a previous senatorial map approved by a panel of appellate judges after a different panel deadlocked. That map would have placed Ray County among numerous counties in the northwestern tier of the 12th District.