GOP weighs in on congressional district map court loss

December 20, 2011 4:11:06 AM PST
Illinois Republicans are reeling following a recent court ruling that upholds the state's new congressional map drawn by Democrats.

The state's top elected Republican tried to be hopeful about his party's chances in next year's congressional elections despite the fact Republicans lost their legal battle to overturn the new Illinois congressional district map.

"The map has worked out far better than the other side thought because of how unpopular the governor is and now the growing unpopularity of the president," Senator Mark Kirk, Republican, said.

The congressional map was drawn by majority Democrats in both the Illinois State House and Illinois State Senate. It was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. It divides the state into 18 districts, many of which are drastically different-- especially n the Chicago region. Heavily populated and Democratic-leaning city neighborhoods were extended into less dense, Republican-leaning suburban and rural areas. Hundreds of thousands of voters in outlying areas will see Chicago politicians on their 2012 ballots for the first time.

"Even the court in its ruling said it was a blatantly political map. For legal reasons they said they couldn't overturn it, or set up a new map, so we're just gonna keep doing what we've been doing... setting up the campaigns," Pat Brady, Illinois Republican Party, said.

Incumbent freshman Congressman Adam Kinzinger was mapped out of what used to be his exurban and rural 11th district. In next spring's primary, he'll try to convince Republican voters in the new 16th District that he's a better choice than 10 term incumbent Congressman Don Manzullo.

"The longer I'm in the more conservative I get. I've been constantly rated as the most conservative member of the Illinois delegation," Rep. Don Manzullo, (R) 16th District, said.

Governor Quinn dismissed Republican complaints that Democratic Party mapmakers had unfairly disfranchised Republican voters.

"Now it's time for elections and may the best candidates win and the parties that have good philosophies and good programs, they'll do well at the polls," Gov. Pat Quinn said.

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