Suspense mounts as Polk County awaits redistricting map approval
A redistricting saga continues for Polk County weeks beyond what Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald and some political organizers anticipated.
Why it matters: The delay is adding complications to local races.
- Candidates must file nomination papers next month and they still don't know their district's boundaries or who they might be challenging.
The big picture: This redistricting cycle is the first since lawmakers changed Iowa law three years ago and removed much of the power of county-appointed commissions to draw maps for supervisor seats.
- The process for many counties is now handled through the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency and the Iowa Secretary of State (SOS).
Between the lines: The process unfolds as tension bubbles among some of the supervisors, thanks to an ongoing lawsuit accusing four of them of extortion.
- Supervisor Matt McCoy joined the lawsuit in October and was stripped of most of his appointments last month.
- Scorching primary and general election challenges against him are in the works, McCoy predicted in an interview with Axios last month.
What they're saying: Fitzgerald said during a meeting last month that Polk's redistricting maps were expected to be approved around Jan. 15.
- The process would likely have been completed by October of last year if the previous system were still in place, he said.
- "There really is nothing we can do, but be frustrated and patient," Polk Supervisor Chairperson Angela Connolly told Axios Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hall, a spokesperson for the SOS, told Axios that census data delays are to blame.
- Expect the process to be completed later this week, Hall said.
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