The back-and-forth between state legislators over redistricting came to an abrupt end on Thursday evening when a panel of federal judges handed down a sprawling 200-page order that reshaped house, senate and state board of education lines across the state.  Kiowa County has moved into a new House of Representatives district, a new U.S. Congressional district and a new state Board of Education District, while remaining in the same state Senate District.


The back-and-forth between state legislators over redistricting came to an abrupt end on Thursday evening when a panel of federal judges handed down a sprawling 200-page order that reshaped house, senate and state board of education lines across the state.  Kiowa County has moved into a new House of Representatives district, a new U.S. Congressional district and a new state Board of Education District, while remaining in the same state Senate District.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil of Kansas City, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Beck Briscoe of Denver, Colo. and Senior U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum of Kansas City made up a three-judge panel that decided the federal lawsuit brought by Olathe committeewoman Robyn Essex asserting that district lines were uneven.

A number of eastern Kansas state and congressional districts saw significant changes due to the remapping, with central and western regions also changing, nearly overnight.

Kiowa County had previously been in the Kansas House of Representatives 116th District. Kyle Hoffman (R-Coldwater) will no longer represent the county, as the remapping has placed Kiowa County in the 117th District.

Larry Powell (R-Garden City) has represented the 117th District since 2001, and was reelected in 2010.

The redistricting, however, has moved Powell into the 122nd District, leaving a vacancy in the 117th District with no incumbent for the November elections.

The 117th House District now includes all of Kiowa, Edwards, Pawnee, Hodgeman and Ness counties, the eastern half of Ford County and western parts of Rush County. The new lines encompass what had previously been pieces of five separate districts, the 114th, the 117th, the 118th, the 119th and the 116th.   

Kiowa County is also no longer in the “Big First” U.S. House Congressional District, represented by Tim Huelskamp (R-Fowler) and has been absorbed by the 4th Congressional District, an office currently held by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Wichita).

Pompeo was elected to his first term in 2010, defeating Democratic nominee Raj Goyle for the seat vacated by then-Senate candidate Todd Tiahrt.

The new district lines moved the western edge of the 4th District farther west, absorbing all of Barber, Pratt, Stafford, Edwards, Kiowa and Comanche counties and southwest parts of Pawnee County.

The eastern part of the 4th District remained largely unchanged, although Montgomery County, which had previously been in the 4th District, will now be part of the 2nd District and parts of Greenwood County have been moved from the 1st District into the 4th District.

There has also been a change in Kiowa County’s Board of Education (BOE) District.

Kiowa County has been absorbed into the massive 5th BOE District and is no longer part of the mid-Kansas 7th BOE District, which has moved eastward.

The 5th BOE District, which had included most of Kansas’ western counties including Ford, Grey, Hodgeman and Pawnee counties, has now absorbed all of Kiowa, Pratt, Edwards, Stafford, Butler counties and parts of Rice County as well as counties to the north.

Kiowa County will not change state senate districts.

Although the 33rd Senate District saw significant changes, Kiowa County remains part of the 33rd Senate District currently represented by Ruth Teichman (R-Stafford).

The 33rd lost all of Comanche, Barber, Kingman and Harper County as well as parts of Clark County. The District absorbed all of Barton, Pawnee, Rush, Ness, Lane and Scott County. It also now includes northern parts of Hodgeman County.

All four of the U.S. House seats including the 4th District (of which Kiowa County is now a part), the 117th State House seat and the 33rd District State Senate seat will be on the November ballot.