In response to today’s press conference by Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) issued the following statement:

“The General Assembly adopted a congressional map that received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. This fair and legal map meets and exceeds state and federal requirements for congressional redistricting without question. Democrats failed to produce a map until their feet were held to the fire, and the map they introduced blatantly ignored the requirements of the Ohio and U.S. constitutions and the Federal Voting Rights Act.

“As you know, our state has lost two congressional seats. The map as passed by the General Assembly essentially maintains our current makeup following the 2010 elections and subjects each party to a loss of a congressional seat. This was done by combining two incumbent Democrats into the same seat and two incumbent Republicans into the same seat. What is unfair about that?

“Additionally, the adopted map went beyond what was required and created a new, heavily Democrat-leaning seat in Franklin County and drew a third-term Democrat incumbent into the same seat as a first-term Republican. Republicans went out of their way to protect a minority seat in addition to adding a seat that can be won by a minority. Again—what is unfair about that?

“We are astounded that Chairman Redfern is not interested in maintaining a fair and legal map, particularly since Democrats in the House and Senate clearly did not participate in the process until it was too late. His party made identical accusations during the previous redistricting 10 years ago about a map that actually gave the Democrats majority control over Ohio’s congressional delegation following the 2008 election. Clearly, as has consistently been the case, Chairman Redfern’s comments and accusations are unfounded and totally without merit. The real story is that the Ohio Democratic Party's plan is and continues to be to have federal judges—with a 3-to-1 chance of not being from Ohio—draw Ohio’s congressional lines, rather than the representatives who were elected by the people to do so.”


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