Congressional Republicans ‘Left to the Mercy’ of Illinois Dems
It's likely to be a few more days before Democrats propose new boundaries for Illinois' U.S. House districts. But Republicans already know they're not going to like it.
Two things are for sure: (1) Census numbers mean that Illinois is losing a congressional seat; and (2) the new map will favor Democrats, who control redistricting.
"They could push me East. They could push me West. They could change the district altogether. They could leave it as is," said U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a freshman Republican from Chicago's Northwest suburbs. "We don't know and because nobody on the Republican side has any seat at this table, we're left to the mercy of the one party in Illinois that's running things."
Walsh freely acknowledges that if Republicans were in control, they'd draw a map that favors their candidates.
Meantime, Raja Krishnamoorthi isn't waiting for the new boundaries. The former Democratic candidate for Illinois comptroller is publicly "exploring" a run for Walsh's 8th district.
In an interview Sunday, Krishnamoorthi said that based on early reports it's "pretty clear that...Democrats are going to be more competitive in this district and other places as well."
On Tuesday in Springfield, the House and Senate panels tasked with redistricting are scheduled to hold a joint hearing on proposed maps for state legislative districts. This will be the third hearing since those boundaries were released late last week.
A separate public hearing is planned for following the release of the proposed U.S. House map, according to Rikeesha Phelon, a spokesperson for state Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.
"I don't anticipate that it will be early in the week," Phelon wrote in an email.
Top Democrats want the maps approved before the General Assembly is set to adjourn on May 31st. After that, the proposal would need Republican votes in order to pass.