Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 118
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for December 20, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

A lot of political ambitions were slapped down last week. That’s when the panel of judges set up when the legislature couldn’t agree on how to realign the districts after the last census announced its plans. A lot of the changes affect us right here in Johnson County. Warrensburg’s 121st District, now represented by Deleta Williams (D-Warrensburg) will lose 4 townships in the northern part of the county (Grover, Simpson, Hazel Hill and Columbus) and add the townships containing the cities of Centerview and Holden, now represented by Shannon Cooper (R-Clinton). Cooper’s 120th District retains the southern tier of the county and adds parts of Cass & Bates. Jackson (Pittsville) and Kingsville townships, now part of the 124th District Rex Rector (R-Harrisonville), will move to A.J. Davis’s (D-Odessa) 122nd District, along with the other northern townships.

What does all that mean? For starters, Rep. Williams leaves the legislature after this session due to term limits. We already know that Warrensburg appliance dealer and former mayor Jim Jackson wants the Democrat nomination. On the Republican side, we’d anticipated an interesting primary, with bank officer and former chamber exec David Pearce opposed by farmer and businessman John Angel, who ran last time. However, Angel lives in Hazel Hill township which is now in the 122nd District, where the incumbent can run again. It will be interesting to see how well Jackson & Pearce do in forestalling additional primary opposition.

While the State Senate seats affecting Johnson County aren’t up for election until 2004, redistricting has made for some mighty interesting speculation there, as well. We stay in Senator Caskey’s 31st District, which loses Henry & St. Clair Counties and adds Vernon County. Henry County and many other counties now voting Republican join Senator Mathewson’s (D-Sedalia) 21st District. When he retires in 2004, at least 4 Republican representatives or former representatives, including Jim Howerton who formerly represented much of Johnson County, may compete for the seat. It should make for a good catfight.

I’m going to start trying to find where our 121st District potential candidates stand on my key issues. If you have an issue that you feel is critical and nobody represents your position, then consider getting involved yourself.

Have a Merry Christmas!

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