Feb 22, 2022 - Politics

Redistricting proposal puts 2 Polk County supervisors in same district

Photos of Polk County Supervisors.

Angela Connolly (left) and Robert Brownell. Photos courtesy of the Polk County Board of Supervisors

Iowa's Legislative Services Agency released its newly proposed districts of Polk County supervisors Tuesday.

Why it matters: Redistricting can impact an election and shape who controls a governing body.

  • For example, Chairperson Angela Connolly, a Democrat, would be in the same district — No. 2 — as vice chairperson Robert Brownell, a Republican, under the proposed maps.

State of play: This is the first redistricting cycle since Iowa lawmakers removed much of the power of county-appointed commissions to draw maps for supervisor seats.

  • Democrats currently have a 3-2 majority on the board.

How it works: The county will hold a public hearing Feb. 28. Supervisors will approve or reject the proposed map on March 1.

  • The LSA would create a second proposal if the first is rejected.

Between the lines: There's tension among supervisors following a lawsuit filed by the county's former HR director.

  • Matt McCoy, the only supervisor not named in the suit, was stripped of nearly all of his board appointments last month.

Of note: McCoy, and the other two incumbents on the board — Democrat Tom Hockensmith and Republican Steve Van Oort — would be in their own districts under the proposed maps.

  • One proposed district, located on the county's southeast side, has no incumbent currently living in its boundaries.

What they're saying: McCoy told Axios that he's concerned his peers will reject the first proposal and use an amendment process on a second one — opening "the door to gerrymandering."

  • Connolly said she's still reviewing the map.
A map showing proposed boundaries for Polk County supervisor districts.
Polk County supervisor districts under a plan published by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency Tuesday.
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