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St. Charles House, Senate Candidates File Despite Uncertainty About Redistricting

St. Charles state representative and senate candidates begin filing despite court rulings that may change boundary lines of their districts.

Even as prospective St. Charles County state representatives and senators have filed for office, the boundary lines for the districts they would represent remain up in the air.

Uncertainty still reigns because Missouri’s redistricting process remains a work in progress.

Redistricting happens every 10 years, based on population shifts and increase noted in the latest U.S. Census. This year, however, lawsuits have thrown a blanket over the redistricting process for Missouri House and Senate seats, even as filing opened on Feb. 28. The party primary is Aug. 7 and the deadline for filing is March 27.

A Missouri Supreme Court ruling in January struck down out previous senate districts, requiring the maps to be redrawn. A 15-day public comment period on possible new Senate districts is ending this month, with those maps still needing state legislative approval.  

The state Supreme Court also may rule soon on lawsuits filed against proposed congressional districts and state House boundaries.

“We’ve gone ahead and let them file with the understanding that they may have to withdraw and refile,” said Ryan Hobart, a spokesperson for the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.

So far, the candidates filing for new reorganized but uncertain House and Senate districts in the county have been largely incumbents and Republican. The House seats have two-year terms; the Senate seats carry four-year terms.

As of Tuesday for Missouri House seats, State Rep. Anne Zerr, formerly of the 18th District, had filed as a Republican in the 65th District. Zerr, from St. Charles, is the lone candidate to file for the seat so far.

Former 14th District state Rep. Kathie Conway of St. Charles is the lone candidate to file as of Tuesday for the Republican nomination in the new 104th House District. No Democrats have filed.

Incumbent Mark A. Parkinson from the old 16th District is the only candidate filing so far for the Republican nomination in the 105th district. No Democrats have filed.

Two Republicans have filed for the newly organized 106th District. Kyle Albert of St Charles, and Chrissy Sommer of St. Charles both filed on Feb. 28.  No Democrats have filed so far.

Sommer was elected in the 15th District in a special election in November 2011. She was elected to fill out the remainder of the term left by the resignation of Sally Faith, who was elected mayor of St. Charles last April.  She also won a recount of her election results in December.

In the state Senate, incumbent Tom Dempsey of St. Charles, has filed for the seat in the new 23rd District. Dempsey represented the old 23rd District.

The 2nd District senate seat, now held by Scott Rupp, a Republican, is not up for reelection this year. Rupp, from Wentzville, has filed as a candidate for the Republican nomination to run for —an office currently held by Democrat Robin Carnahan.

Hobart said it’s unclear when the state Supreme Court would issue rulings that may affect the state representative maps. Changing the March 27 deadline for candidate filing would require legislative approval, he said.

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