ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Missouri's Supreme Court confirmed the state's eight new Congressional districts as drawn by the Republican controlled state legislature Friday. The decision leaves Democrats upset because it cost them a seat in the St. Louis area.
"It's going to very much diminish the clout and representation of the St. Louis region and badly chop up communities around the state," said Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan whose Third District was eliminated. His home is now in the new First District already occupied by fellow Democratic Congressman Lacy Clay.
Shifting population across the country caused both Missouri and Illinois to each lose one Congressional District. But Carnahan argued the St. Louis region had enough population to warrant three seats. It is now divided into four districts: the First, Second, Third and Eighth. But both the Third and the Eighth are dominated by rural counties. The new Third contains part of northern Jefferson County, part of St. Charles County, all of Franklin County and stretches north to include Lincoln County and as far west as the Lake of the Ozarks.
Carnahan criticized fellow Democrat Clay for his role in the end product. "This was a direct result of Congressman Clay making a deal with state Republicans in an attempt to keep a politically comfortable seat for himself," Carnahan charged.
Clay did not respond to requests from FOX2 for a comment by our deadline Friday evening.
Carnahan's home and about one third of his current district are now in the new First District. He is running against Clay and Candice Britton of Richmond Heights in the August 7th Democratic primary.
Several of the districts are so oddly shaped critics have taken to describing them as animals.