Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

State House Democrats on the State Government Committee demonstrated exceptional solidarity on HB 2–the Incumbent Protection Plan otherwise known as the redistricting bill. What they could not achieve at the ballot box last November they accomplished by eliminating at least five opponents from the other party.  Eleven Republican State House members were moved into the same districts and will square off in the 2014 primary. The move was pure politics. It had little to do with preserving geographical integrity and improving constituent service. It had everything to do with preserving the majority party's power.  Chalk it up as a victory for the Party in charge of the House.  However, it may be short lived as voters will get the last word in next year's elections.  The full House might vote on the bill tomorrow. More details below compiled from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The new Fayette County district is 88, located in the southern part of the county.

Proposed districts that pair incumbents include:

■ The 2nd District, where 2nd District Rep. Richard Heath, R-Mayfield, would face 1st District Rep. Steven Rudy, R-West Paducah.

■ The 5th District, where 4th District Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, would face 10th District Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville.

■ The 17th District, where three incumbents live: 17th District Rep. C.B. Embry, R-Morgantown; 21st District Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Rockfield; and Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Brownsville.

■ The 89th District, where 89th District Rep. Marie Rader, R-McKee, would face 91st District Rep. Toby Herald, R-Beattyville.

■ The 91st District, where 54th District Rep. Mike Harmon, R-Danville, would face 36th District Rep. Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster.

■ The 99th District, where 99th District Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, would face 96th District Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson.

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