Danedri Thompson
Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill will be represented by new Senators and members of the House.
A trio of federal judges released redistricting maps around midnight on June 8. The maps will allow primary elections, set for Aug. 7, to continue as planned, but the new lines pit 48 incumbents in 125 House district against one another, add an eighth Senate district in Johnson County, and mean different representation for the people in the southwest part of the county.
Sen. Olson will no longer represent Gardner and Edgerton after the 2012 election. Part of Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill will share a senator in the 37th District, where current Sens. Pat Apple, R-Louisburg, and Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell both reside. Both have filed for re-election.
Gardner residents who live north of U.S. 56 Highway will be grouped with southern Olathe, which Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, currently represents. She has also filed for re-election and to date, does not have an opponent.
Olson said the maps are not a good thing for Gardner.
“Gardner shouldn’t be split between two senators,” Olson said. “It’s a growing community.”
Rep. Mike Kiegerl, R-Olathe, who currently represents Gardner, Edgerton and Spring Hill, was drawn out of the 43rd District, which will now only include Gardner and Edgerton.
Beth Linn, Edgerton city administrator, said she prefers the maps the judges drew to many she saw during the legislative session. Some legislative maps grouped Edgerton with Baldwin.
“There was one map where Edgerton was split into three districts,” she said. “I think (the court’s map) makes more sense than putting us with Baldwin and for things like when we’re talking about school districts and for southwest Johnson County. We have trouble getting people to know we’re in Johnson County as it is.”
There will still be a primary in that district as two Gardner residents, Bill Sutton and Dan Thompson, have filed for the seat.
In the meantime, Kiegerl now resides in the 121st District that includes Rep. Arlen Siegfriend, R-Olathe.
Although he is on the ballot for a new district, the 121st, which includes southern and western parts of Olathe, Kiegerl said he won’t be running an active campaign. In fact, he said he’ll likely contribute to Siegfried’s campaign.
“I’m just in a situation where I’m not heartbroken over (redistricting),” Kiegerl said. “I would’ve gone on, but the last session was very tough on me…I really contemplated not to run to begin with, but I had so much encouragement, and it’s good for the ego when people want you to do it.”
Meanwhile, no candidates have filed to run in the 26th District, which now includes Spring Hill and parts of southeastern Olathe.
The filing deadline is noon on June 11.
All court-approved maps can be found online here.