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New Congressional Maps To Become Law This Week

Last updated on Monday, May 9, 2011

(STATEHOUSE) - Indiana’s new Congressional maps will become law this week with Governor Daniels’ signature.

Fifth District Republican Dan Burton would have lost last year's primary to Luke Messer if he hadn't rolled up big margins in Huntington, Wabash and Miami counties.

Those counties have been sliced out of Burton's district, but so has Messer, whose Shelby County home is now in Mike Pence's Sixth District.

Burton says he expects to run again, and expects to win.

Burton notes Madison County and Eastern Boone County, newly added to his district, aren't entirely unfamiliar ground; they were part of past incarnations of his district.

He also gains part of Blackford County and additional territory in Marion County, while losing the western half of Howard County, another county he won last year.

Second District Democrat Joe Donnelly is likely to pursue Richard Lugar's Senate seat instead of reelection, after the new maps gave him two of Burton's old counties while subtracting Democratic Michigan City.

Donnelly says he's still confident a Democrat can win the district; he notes Barack Obama did it in 2008.

But he accuses Republicans of playing politics in drawing the district, splitting up Laporte and Kosciusko counties in a way that pushes Republicans into his district and democrats out.

Donnelly beat Republican Jackie Walorski by a single percentage point last year under the old district lines.

Democrats say the redrawn Ninth District of Republican Todd Young may discourage Democratic challengers who would have considered the race under the old maps.

Daniels has until Wednesday to sign or veto the maps.

A spokeswoman says he will sign them.

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