DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a bipartisan redistricting plan into law on Tuesday, eliminating one of the state’s five seats in the U.S. House and triggering moves by some incumbents.
An independent body drew up the new legislative map and both houses of the state legislature approved it before Branstad signed on to the measure, which was necessitated by population shifts recorded in the 2010 U.S. Census.
Branstad, a Republican elected last year, praised the congressional and state legislative redistricting map, saying it “isn’t designed to skew it in favor of one party or the other.”
In many states, the dominant political party in the legislature redraws districts favorable to its candidates.
“I think all four of the congressional districts are competitive in this state and most of the legislative districts are competitive,” Branstad said.
Two of Iowa’s five congressmen have said they are moving into another district rather than face a primary against an incumbent of their own party.
Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Latham said last week he will move and challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, and Democrat Dave Loebsack intends to move to the second district from the first district he now shares with Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.
Reporting by Kay Henderson; Writing by Andrew Stern; Editing by Peter Bohan