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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kentucky Rep. C. B. Embry Won't Chllenge Jim Descere In Newly Created House District, Will Instead Challenge Senator Jerry Rhoades In Newly Created Senate District.

Plans gain approval, governor's signature

Embry won't challenge DeCesare in newly drawn House District 17

A longtime Butler County state representative says he won't run for re-election in the House if redrawn districts approved Friday in the General Assembly stand.
The legislature gave final approval Friday to redistricting plans for the House and Senate. House Bill 1, which included both the House and Senate plans, was approved in the Senate by a vote of 35-2 and in the House by a vote of 79-18. Gov. Steve Beshear signed the bill soon afterward.

Three federal judges will have the final say on the districts' constitutionality.

Redistricting plans for the House and Senate were passed following the 2010 census, but the Kentucky Supreme Court in February 2012 struck down those plans, saying that they weren’t balanced by population. The court ordered lawmakers to run in old legislative districts and that the lines be redrawn.

Under the House plan approved Friday, Reps. C.B. Embry Jr., R-Morgantown, and Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, would be placed in House District 17.
However, Embry said that if the districts are upheld, he doesn't plan to run for a seat in the House.
"I do not plan to run for re-election in the new district," he said.

Embry will instead consider a run in Senate District 6, which includes Butler, Hopkins, Muhlenberg and Ohio counties. Sen. Jerry Rhoads, D-Madisonville, currently represents that district.
Embry previously served as Ohio County judge-executive and Beaver Dam mayor. He said he thinks he would have a chance of winning the Senate seat.
"That's a challenge, but it's doable," he said.
At the end of his current term, Embry will have been in the House for 12 years.
Though he has ties to Warren County, including having a degree from Western Kentucky University, Embry said Warren County is an expensive area in which to run for elected office. If Embry ran, he would be pitted against DeCesare, who he said is one of his best friends in the legislature and has a voting record similar to Embry's.
"He's an outstanding young legislator," Embry said.

While he believes the House redistricting plan meets constitutional requirements in terms of population, he has concerns about the map that could potentially lead it to being overturned, Embry said.
"It was the best of the three plans that House majority leadership presented us with," he said.
Some of his concerns are that cities such as Radcliff, Georgetown and Madisonville are split into multiple districts and that some districts appear drawn in ways that suggest gerrymandering, Embry said.

DeCesare said Friday that he will run for the House seat in the new District 17.
"I think legally and technically it is a fair plan," he said.
The plan had bipartisan support in both chambers of the General Assembly and potentially puts two sets of Democratic incumbents and two sets of Republican incumbents in districts together.
Under the plan, Warren County would be split into six districts, but DeCesare said that because of the large population of the county relative to surrounding counties, it was natural that it be split.

Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said he believes redistricting plans for the House and the Senate are constitutional. Creating plans that meet all requirements is a challenge, he said.
"I really do think that the House plan and the Senate plan are very fair," Richards said.
Richards said having six districts located wholly or partially in Warren County is positive. There are now only four districts located wholly or partially in the county.
Even those who represent only small portions of Warren County will be interested in what happens here, he said.
"The Warren County caucus will be quite a large caucus," Richards said.

Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, said he believes the Senate plan will not run into any judicial problems.
The plan is fair and pits no incumbents against one another, he said.
"From the Senate side, it was unprecedented," Wilson said.
He said he's sorry that he will no longer be representing Butler County, but Warren has grown to the point where it is almost a perfect Senate district.
Wilson said he's not so sure the House plan will be considered constitutional.
However, the bill was approved with a severability clause, which means that if the House plan is deemed unconstitutional, the Senate plan will stand, he said.

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