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Republicans on Ohio Redistricting Commission ignore supreme court order for new maps by Monday

Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Jeff LaRe (R-Canal Winchester) takes over as co-chair of the Ohio Redistricting Commission after House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) removes himself from the commission.

Republicans on the panel charged with drawing new House and Senate district maps say they will ignore an order from the Ohio Supreme Court to produce a sixth attempt at new maps by Monday.

The decision comes as the state gets ready for an August primary for legislative districts after a federal court put in place maps ruled unconstitutional in March.

The Republican lawmakers appointed to replace Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) on the Ohio Redistricting Commission said it won’t reconvene to adopt new maps by Monday.

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Rep. Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) say in a letter and a statement to Democratic co-chair Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) that the Supreme Court can’t order the maps by a specific deadline, and that it would be confusing to voters to adopt new maps before the House and Senate primary on August 2.

That primary comes after a federal court ordered maps ruled unconstitutional in March be used this election cycle.

The panel’s two Democratic commissioners, Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Sykes, say in letters to LaRe they’ feel "deep disappointment" that the commission has failed and "violated its constitutional imperative to produce valid maps.

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