Democratic Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich Thursday accused his fellow Democrats on the state level of plotting to revise the state’s congressional map to squeeze him out of his district in favor of rival U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
Ohio legislators Thursday afternoon were expected to vote on a revised congressional map for the state that draws new district lines. However, a Republican bid to gain Democratic support for a new alternative map blew up on the House floor, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer
, during a heated afternoon session marked by angry arguments that did not produce an agreement on the long-debated new map.
Kucinich sent his supporters a fundraising email, just before the vote, complaining the new map dilutes the “strength of my core constituency in Cleveland.”
If the Ohio House eventually approves the new plan, the map will drop more than 90,000 voters into a district that appears to favor Kaptur over Kucinich.
A new round of bipartisan talks are expected about the redistricting but if no agreement is reached by early December the map could head to federal court, because the redistricting could affect the upcoming presidential primaries.
Kucinich’s complaints are just a small part of the controversy surrounding Ohio’s redistricting.
The GOP-controlled state legislature passed a first plan in September that drew 12 Republican districts and four Democratic. Democrats launched a referendum against that map, calling it unfair, and are working to overturn it.
Several black Democrats in the state also complained about the first plan, which is the one Kucinich wants accepted because it won’t split up his district.
The first plan instead divides urban areas in Toledo, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. Thursday’s plan made some changes that kept those urban areas intact, but the new lines were not enough to bring Democrats to support a motion suspending normal rules and allowing a House floor vote.
Kaptur spokesman Steve Fought said the failure to approve the redistricting plan shows the process is broken and predicted the dispute will end up in court.
“This is not about whether the new map favors Marcy Kaptur or doesn't favor Dennis Kucinich, it is about that it doesn't favor the state of Ohio,” Fought said.
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