Ohio redistricting: GOP unveils new congressional map. See it here.

Ohio congressional district map proposed on March 1, 2022.
Ohio congressional district map proposed on March 1, 2022.

Republican mapmakers revealed a new congressional plan Tuesday after the first one was rejected by a divided Ohio Supreme Court.

The new map would create 10 safe Republican seats, three Democratic districts and two tossups that lean Democratic.

Those highly competitive districts include one in Cincinnati that stretches to Warren County, currently represented by GOP Rep. Steve Chabot, and another in Toledo that stretches from the northwest corner of the state to Erie County, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The proposed 13th congressional district, which combines Akron's Summit County with parts of Stark County and a sliver of Portage County, leans Democratic but Republicans could easily win in a good GOP year. State Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, is hoping to win that seat. Her father, state Sen. Vernon Sykes, is on the seven-member commission working on the new congressional map.

The most competitive Republican district is the 10th, represented by Dayton Rep. Mike Turner. That proposed district favors the GOP 53.3% to 46.7%.

See the map on Dave's Redistricting App, a popular redistricting website.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission could approve a new plan as soon as Wednesday, racing to finish a plan before candidates file paperwork to run Friday. Democrats are hoping to makes some changes before the plan is finalized. Any approved map will face a review from the Ohio Supreme Court.

Ohio is one of the last states to finalize its map of congressional districts. That's important because control of the U.S. House of Representatives hangs in the balance.

Ohio's current congressional delegation includes 12 Republicans and four Democrats. But Ohio is losing a congressional seat because its population grew slower than the nation's.

What does the proposal look like?

Ohio's GOP-controlled Legislature passed a map in November that could have given the GOP a 12-3 advantage. But the Ohio Supreme Court rejected it in a 4-3 decision. Justice Michael Donnelly wrote that Republicans had stacked the deck in their favor.

Lawmakers were sent back to the drawing board but they couldn't cobble together the votes needed for a map to take effect immediately. That sent the pen back the seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission, which had yet to pass a bipartisan map.

Republicans and Democrats on the commission disagree over whether the map must last 10 years, thus requiring votes from both Democratic members, or if GOP members could pass a four-year map instead.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost agreed with fellow Republicans that the commission could pass a map without Democratic support. Ultimately, the Ohio Supreme Court will decide.

Attorney General Dave Yost's letter to Speaker Cupp about a congressional map by Jessie Balmert on Scribd

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More: Ohio Redistricting: Maps for legislative, congressional districts in limbo as primary looms

The last map was rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court as overly favorable to Republicans.
The last map was rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court as overly favorable to Republicans.

Once again, the commission is under a tight deadline to pass a map. On Friday, candidates interested in running for Congress must file paperwork. Right now, candidates don't know where they are running.

The situation is less dire than with state legislative candidates because members of Congress are not required to live in the district they represent. But it certainly helps, politically.

The first map threatened Kaptur by drawing her into a district with several more-rural, more-Republican counties. She currently represents the infamous "snake on the lake" district, which stretches from Toledo to Cleveland.

The new proposal would place Kaptur in a tossup district stretching from Williams County to Erie County along Lake Erie.

The rejected map also protected two GOP congressional districts in Hamilton County, even though the county voted for Democratic President Joe Biden with 57% of the vote. Under new rules, the city of Cincinnati must be kept whole in one congressional district, but mapmakers diluted Democratic votes there with GOP ones from Warren County.

In Tuesday's proposal, Cincinnati was combined with Warren County once again, in a district that is barely Democratic. Without a strong challenger, Chabot could still win there. Sen. Vernon Sykes said that Cincinnati should be wholly contained in a Hamilton County district.

No incumbents would face off against one another, Senate President Matt Huffman said. But the map appears to draw Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty and Republican Rep. Mike Carey into the same Columbus district. Republican candidate Max Miller, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, would face a primary with GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs.

Here is the proposed districts' partisan breakdown:

  • 1st district, represented by Republican Rep. Steve Chabot: +2 Democratic

  • 2nd district, represented by Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup: +39.5 Republican

  • 3rd district, represented by Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty: +37.8 Democratic

  • 4th district, represented by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan: +35.7 Republican

  • 5th district, represented by Republican Rep. Bob Latta: +22.7 Republican

  • 6th district, represented by Republican Rep. Bill Johnson: +18.1 Republican

  • 7th district, represented by Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs: +8.8 Republican

  • 8th district, represented by Republican Rep. Warren Davidson: +24.9 Republican

  • 9th district, represented by Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur: +0.5 Democratic

  • 10th district, represented by Republican Rep. Mike Turner: +6.6 Republican

  • 11th district, represented by Democratic Rep. Shontel Brown: +59.7 Democratic

  • 12th district, represented by Republican Rep. Troy Balderson: +22.7 Republican

  • 13th district, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan and Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez: +4.3 Democratic

  • 14th district, represented by Rep. Dave Joyce: +9.7 Republican

  • 15th district, represented by Republican Rep. Mike Carey: +8.6 Republican

Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Akron Beacon Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio redistricting: GOP proposes a new congressional map. See it here.