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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On the first day of candidate filing for state and federal races on the August primary ballot, congressional candidates in Missouri faced a dilemma. They still don’t know exactly what the boundaries of their districts will be, as the redistricting process has been stuck in the Missouri State Senate that past few weeks, as conservatives hold out for a map that would show a 7:1 ratio of likely Republican versus Democrats representing the state in Washington. A 6-2 map has passed the Missouri House.

It’s a tough job that U.S. Rep. Jason Smith knows too well, having served on a redistricting committee during his time as a state lawmaker. Smith, a Republican from Salem, Mo., opted to run for re-election from the eighth district serving Southeast Missouri instead of jumping into the U.S. Senate primary.

“They’ll pass a map, we’ll know what the boundary lines are and it needs to be a map that reflects the values of Missouri and reflects a rural, rural state and that rural districts are preserved,” Smith said, not speaking to any specific ratio.

“We have a reasonable feel of what it’s going to look like but no matter what the district lines ultimately look like, a lot of what we’re talking about, which is a need for civility and bipartisanship, bringing a bit sanity back to politics is going to be a resonant argument regardless of what the district lines look like,” Ben Samuels, a Creve Coeur Democrat running for Congress in the second district, said as he waited in line to file. The biggest stumbling block for the second district will be if it ultimately includes all of St. Charles County, as some Republicans hope, or if the first district will be redrawn in a way that reaches it. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner had not appeared in person to file to run by midafternoon Tuesday.

“My work is to make sure that the people of St. Louis, the first district, are represented and that they feel their representation so whatever the lines look like,” said U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, prior to filing Tuesday. She had not appeared in person to do so by mid-afternoon

As for the process of getting a map passed, which, along with the weather, has gridlocked the State Senate in recent weeks? Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz is hopeful that a 6-2 map will pass sooner than later.

“It’s been a long process, we’ve been working at it, but we’re closer now than we have been and I’m pretty confident that we will come to a conclusion, we will provide a map that we can get through both chambers and get to the Governor’s desk that will meet the constitutional muster it needs to hopefully withstand any court challenges that could come,” he said.