Ill. Republicans could challenge congressional remap

June 17, 2011 4:28:17 PM PDT
llinois Democrats have drawn up a congressional remap that would eliminate some Republican seats.

While the new map has been approved by the House and Senate, Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to approve it. If he does, Republicans are ready to file a lawsuit.

Right now, there are three more Republicans representing Illinois in Congress than there are Democrats. That could change dramatically in 2012 if the governor signs off on the proposed congressional map.

Freshman Congressman Robert Dold has already decided he will run for a second term.

"I am absolutely running. There is far too much work still be done in Washington right now," said Dold.

But Dold was marked for defeat when Illinois' Democratic state lawmakers used their General Assembly majorities to redraw the boundaries of Dold's North Shore 10th District. Based on the lines drawn for the new map, Dold would not even live in the 10th anymore.

"If this map holds, I think they would have significantly taken the voice of the suburban voter out and discounted it greatly and would have absolutely thrown out the election that just happened six months ago," he said.

Quinn still has not signed the congressional map, which the U.S. Constitution says must be finalized this year based on the 2010 federal census.

"I've had it maybe a week or 10 days. I'll take a few more days and make a final decision," said Quinn.

Republicans say Democrats drew boundaries attempting to guarantee themselves majorities in as many of the state's 18 districts as possible. They drew an eighth where the current Republican Congressman Joe Walsh does not live.

Already, Democratic businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi has announced his candidacy in the proposed 8th District, which includes more Democratic areas of Cook and DuPage counties.

"I'm a resident of the 8th Congressional District. I live in Hoffman Estates with my wife and two young boys," said Krishnamoorthi. "And, of course, it also includes Elgin and Carpentersville and East Dundee which have also gone Democratic."

Because Democrats control the governor's office and both General Assembly chambers, Dold's Republican party had no voice in redistricting. Their only hope at this point would be to challenge the Democratic map in the courts.

"I think that it will be challenged, but we'll see if the governor signs it. I think that he probably will, but we're gonna wait and see what the governor does," Dold.

Other Republicans say they believe the governor will eventually sign off on the map but say he is holding it as long as possible to run down the clock on any court challenge.

Democrats tell ABC7 off the record that if Republicans were in charge of redistricting, they would expect the same treatment.

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