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What does redistricting mean for Marshall County? | News, Sports, Jobs – Marshalltown Times Republican

by Arifa Rana

Nov 1, 2021
PHOTOS VIA THE IOWA LEGISLATURE WEBSITE The Iowa House and Senate approved the second set of proposed state and federal district maps during a special session held on Thurs.
DES MOINES- Now that the Iowa House and Senate have approved the second set of redistricting maps, some changes will be in store for Marshall County residents who plan to head to the polls in 2022.
Federally, Marshall County will move from the 1st Congressional District (currently represented by Ashley Hinson) to the 4th District, which is currently represented by first-term U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull). By land area, the 4th has traditionally been the largest district in the state, and the new boundaries will include 36 counties in the northwest, southwest and north central regions of Iowa.
At the state level, all of Marshall County and most of rural Story County outside of Ames will be part of the 26th Senate District, and current State Sen. Jeff Edler (R-State Center) is the only incumbent currently living within the district. Edler voted against the initial set of maps but said that the second set represented a substantial improvement.
“On both the Congressional and the senate district side, they tried to address our concerns. They did a fair job on the first map. Obviously, they did better on the second map,” Edler said. “The process worked the way it should’ve, and we got a fair, nonpartisan map.”
Edler’s current district encompasses all of Marshall and Tama Counties and a small sliver of southern Black Hawk County that includes La Porte City. He commented that he’s basically “right in the middle” of his new district and looks forward to building relationships in Story County.
“For the Marshall County side, it’ll be great to continue to build and work with individuals I’ve created great relationships with. I think the continuity has gone extremely well,” he said. “I’m sad to lose Tama (County), but I guess every 10 years they go through this. I can’t complain because they addressed our concerns.”
One legislator who will no longer represent Marshall County is State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour), who previously served the northwest, southwest and southeast corners of the county in the 72nd House District along with his home county of Tama and a small sliver of Black Hawk County. Fisher will move to the newly created 53rd District, which includes most of Tama County outside of the northeast corner and all of Poweshiek County.
In a previous interview, Fisher said he wasn’t terribly worried about how the maps shook out, but he still felt that the new ones were a definite improvement.
“The big difference for me (is that) I think the Congressional map is much better. I think it does a better job of representing what Iowa looks like,” Fisher said.
State Rep. Sue Cahill (D-Marshalltown) will continue to represent the city of Marshalltown in House District 52, but the surrounding areas that her district covers will look a bit different. Currently, her district (House District 71) covers all of Marshalltown, Albion, Liscomb, Green Mountain and the rural areas of northeastern Marshall County, but the 52nd District is contained to the southeast corner of the county and includes communities like Le Grand, Haverhill, Ferguson, Laurel and Gilman.
Cahill supported the original set of maps and is happy that the process did not move to a third proposal, which would allow lawmakers to submit individual amendments to the maps.
“That protects the integrity of the process that Iowa has used for years and years, so the maps follow our Iowa Code. They meet the criteria set out for the state, so the maps are as fair as they can be,” Cahill said. “I don’t think anyone should get to handpick who their constituents are. Whoever we represent, we want to do it well.”
Incumbent State Rep. Dave Deyoe (R-Nevada) will represent the rest of Marshall County under the new maps in House District 51, and he said he likes that his rural residence between Colo and Nevada is close to the middle of the district. Deyoe’s current district includes eastern and southern Story County along with the southern half of Hardin County.
“I’m kind of excited about it. I know a lot of people in that western part of Marshall County… For me, it’s a shorter drive everywhere,” Deyoe said. “In some ways, I like the fact that my current district is a rural district, and by some elements, this one might be even a little more rural… I think it’s a good district for me. The district fits me well.”
The State Senate voted 48-1 to approve the maps, and the House approved them by a 93-2 tally.
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Contact Robert Maharry
at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or
rmaharry@timesrepublican.com.
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