(The Center Square) – The proposed new map for the Indiana House of Representatives appears to cut the two most conservative representatives out, leaving them to run against other Republicans in the 2022, if they choose to run for reelection.
“They hacked it up,” Rep. John Jacob, R-Indianapolis, said of district 93, which he represents. “They took all of Johnson County, which is a huge conservative base for me.”
The proposed new map of House legislative districts, drawn with the 2020 census information and released Tuesday by House Republican leaders, shows the 93rd district now entirely in southern Marion County, whereas the current district is divided between Marion and Johnson counties. The proposed district doesn’t only run east and west along the bottom of Marion County, but moves into Indianapolis, toward the center of downtown. But Jacob doesn’t know how far.
He said he called Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Danville, one of the key Republican leaders involved with drawing the new district lines, and asked him for a map that shows streets.
“Without a detailed map, I can’t make a clear decision,” he says, referring to whether he’ll run for re-election in 2022.
He said Steuerwald told him that taking Johnson County out of the 93rd district was a “difficult decision.”
“I said, 'No, Greg. You guys reamed me,'” Jacob said.
Jacob is a first-term representative, and one of the strongest pro-life members of the Indiana General Assembly, along with Rep. Cut Nisly, R-Milford.
Together, the two filed 66 amendments to bills in the 2021 session of the legislature, most of dealing with abortion. Both Nisly and Jacob have strongly opposed the imposition of vaccine mandates, both from employers and the government.
The northern district Nisly represents was also dramatically changed in the newly redrawn maps, seeming to pit Nisly against fellow Republican Rep. Craig Snow, R-Warsaw, who now represents the 18th district.
“Really, it doesn’t matter if he runs or not,” said Nisly. “It doesn’t matter if there’s two people in the race, or 10 people in the race. It always comes down to voters. This is the voters’ district. It’s not my district. “
Nisly said if he does run again, which he says he probably will, he’ll go out and introduce himself to the voters in the new part of the district and let them make a decision as to which person would be best to represent them.
The proposed map shows that about half of the new 22nd Statehouse district would be made up of voters who were previously in other districts.
The proposed new district includes almost all of Kosciusko County, and the northern part of Wabash County, whereas the district currently has only a third of Kosciusko County, along with a part of Elkhart County and part of LaGrange County.
But Nisly said he’s not sure the map as proposed will be the one that passed the House of Representatives.
“We’ve got a few weeks here and a lot of opportunities for those maps to change over the next few weeks,” he said on Friday.
A decade ago, when the maps were last redone, he said there were two Republican representatives in Kosciusko County, just as with the current situation.
“When the first maps came out, they were in the same district. But by the end of the process they had drawn the line a little different, and then those two were in different districts. So, it happened 10 years ago, it might happen again,” he said.
The proposed House legislative map and also the U.S. congressional map are scheduled for a vote in the House Elections and Apportionment Committee on Monday.
Later in the week, the maps are to be considered by the full House of Representatives, during which time all members will have the opportunity to offer amendments.