Iowa legislature approves redistricting plan

DES MOINES, Iowa Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:04am EDT

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DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Iowa lawmakers approved on Thursday a bipartisan redistricting plan that eliminates one of the state's House seats and could force four Congressional incumbents to run against each other.

Both the Iowa House and Senate passed the plan, drawn up by an independent body, by overwhelming bipartisan majorities.

The reconfiguration could force two Republican congressmen and two Democratic congressmen to run against each other. Iowa lost one of its five congressional seats as a result of the 2010 Census, as there were greater population gains in other states.

"While not everybody may be happy with the district they receive, we all recognize it is, indeed, a fair plan," said Senate minority leader Paul McKinley, a Republican.

The Iowa Senate approved the plan by a margin of 48-1, while the House approved it by 90-7.

Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, has three days to decide whether to approve the plan. He has said he has not heard a "compelling reason to reject it." He said he has talked to all five Iowa congressmen about the four proposed districts.

(Reporting by Kay Henderson; Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune)

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