House Map Places Bulk of Elmhurst in One District
New lines could pit three Republican lawmakers against each other if they seek a seat in the next election.
Two House Republicans currently representing Elmhurst are taking a wait-and-see approach on a proposed redistricting plan that will place them in the same legislative district.
Under a proposed House map released earlier this week by Democratic lawmakers, Elmhurst residents would largely be in one House district. If approved as is, the new House District 47 would span from Grand Avenue to Hinsdale. A small portion of Elmhurst, near York High School would be in House District 46.
Reps. Chris Nybo, R-41, and Dennis Reboletti, R-46, have been drawn into the same legislative district by Democratic mapmakers. Additionally, the Democrats drew Rep. Patti Bellock , R-Westmont, into the same district, effectively hamstringing three Republican lawmakers in DuPage County.
“This dilutes the voice of DuPage County,” Reboletti said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
Reboletti, an Addison Republican, said he does not understand how mapmakers could place Elmhurst in a district that includes Hinsdale while removing it from a district that contains municipalities of similar makeup.
Reboletti was distressed that some districts largely dominated by Cook County municipalities were stretching into DuPage County—something municipal leaders asked state lawmakers to prevent during an April redistricting meeting in Elmhurst. Municipal leaders, including Mayor Pete DiCianni, told lawmakers that DuPage County should be looked at as a whole because its citizens were of similar mind. They told lawmakers residents of Cook County have different wants than DuPage residents.
“The county is a community of similar interests, and now there are fingers of Cook County coming into DuPage. It’s a diluting of our voices,” Reboletti said.
Reboletti expects a few tweaks to the map, but believes the Democrats will pass it largely as is. However, he said he expects legal challenges to be filed immediately following passage of the bills.
Nybo, who is serving his first term in the legislature, remains largely silent on the new maps. Kevin Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Nybo, said the former Elmhurst alderman is holding comments on the proposed lines until a final map is passed.
“We believe the current map may lead to some different drawings,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said Nybo and his team closely examined the proposed boundaries and have been collecting a data set throughout the new district.
Every 10 years the legislative political lines must be redrawn to account for population shifts recorded in the U.S. Census. Each House district requires a population of 108,734 and Senate districts require a population of 217,438.
Legislative leaders in Springfield are tasked with drawing lines for both chambers of the General Assembly as well as Congressional lines. Under current rules, with Democrats holding a majority in both houses, they will draw the lines to ensure districts favoring Democratic candidates. In order to maintain their majority in Springfield, the Democrats must pass legislative maps before May 31. Anything passed after that will require a super majority in each chamber, which means Republican votes are needed.
Similar lumping tactics were employed by Senate Democrats when they released their legislative maps last week. Sen. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, was drawn into the same district as Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno of Lemont. Likewise Republican Sen. John Milner of Carol Stream was placed in the same district as Republican Sen. Tom Johnson of West Chicago.
Sandack said the situation on the maps is fluid and there is a probability there could be changes. He said his personal situation has not changed. He said he’s enjoyed his short time in Springfield and plans to seek re-election. However, there is some speculation Sandack, who was appointed to the Senate earlier this year after Dan Cronin was elected DuPage County chairman, could seek a seat in the state House.