Big changes: New state House, Senate maps rearrange Montgomery, Butler counties

New Ohio Senate district map

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New Ohio Senate district map

New Ohio House and Senate districts include sweeping changes for Southwest Ohio, with some districts disappearing entirely, new ones created from parts of old, and many renumbered.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved the new maps Saturday night after the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the districts drawn up last fall as overly favoring Republicans.

Changes are greatest in the area’s 16 Ohio House districts, though some of the five Ohio Senate districts — especially those in Montgomery County — also were altered.

The new maps, if upheld in the next few days by the supreme court, would create one Democratic-leaning Senate district and two Democratic-leaning House districts, instead of the one current Democratic House district.

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New Ohio House district maps

New Ohio House district maps

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New Ohio House district maps

Only one House district — the newly numbered District 38 — is solidly Democratic, according to the partisan breakdown in the Republican-backed plan. The other two lean by razor-thin margins of less than 1 percentage point. Those figures are based on statewide electoral results from 2016 through 2020.

Senate Districts 4, 7 and 10 remain largely unchanged. District 5, currently held by state Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, keeps Miami, Preble and southern Darke counties; but its configuration in Montgomery County shifts. Instead of holding the western central part of the county and much of Dayton proper, it will include the county’s northern end and about half of the city.

Huffman said his district in the new map is essentially the same as in the map approved in September, which the Supreme Court overturned.

“It did not appreciably change at all,” he said.

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In the previous electoral map, used in Huffman’s 2018 election, his Senate district included the House district now held by state Rep. Willis Blackshear, Huffman said. Under the new map, he swaps that area for the House district held by state Rep. Phil Plummer, while state Sen. Niraj Antani picks up Blackshear’s district.

“I believe that I have about 110,000 new voters that I need to get out, and get them to know what I’ve done over the last eight years in the General Assembly,” Huffman said.

District 6, now held by Antani, R-Miamisburg, will no longer include part of northern Montgomery County. It will retain eastern and southern portions of the county, but will slide around to incorporate the county’s southwestern side.

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New Ohio Senate districts map

New Ohio Senate districts map

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New Ohio Senate districts map

Antani declined to comment on the changes, saying he didn’t think it was prudent until it’s seen whether the supreme court will accept the map as constitutional.

In the House, perhaps the most significant change for this area is creation of a new District 38, which takes over central Dayton and eastern Montgomery County. It will be the only solidly Democratic district in the region, by nearly a 40-point margin, according to the plan breakdown.

Meanwhile House District 39, the only regional seat now held by a Democrat, Blackshear, shifts west into the suburbs and takes over all of Preble County plus part of northern Butler County.

Blackshear said Monday, during an online forum with the League of Women Voters for the Greater Dayton Area, that District 38 is the real successor to his current district — but at this point, it’s unclear which district he should or could run in. The change not only in district lines but in district numbers can be very confusing for voters, he said.

The change will make District 39 lean Republican by nearly 20 points. Most of this new area has heretofore been District 43, held by state Rep. Rodney Creech, R-West Alexandria.

Other Montgomery County changes:

  • District 40, held by state Rep. Phil Plummer, R-Butler Twp., will be renumbered District 35. It will lose its southeastern extension but gain parts of north-central Montgomery.
  • District 41, held by state Rep. Andrea White, R-Kettering, will be renumbered District 36. It will lose its southern and northern portions but will extend further west into Dayton. Those changes will technically make the new District 36 into a Democratic district, but by 0.46%.
  • District 42 will be renumbered District 37. Held currently by state Rep. Tom Young, R-Washington Twp., it will gain the southern part of the former District 41, plus a chunk of western Montgomery County, while losing some of Dayton’s south end.

Young said while his district adds Centerville, other changes are minor — assuming the Supreme Court accepts the new maps.

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He knows many people are concerned how the primary process will work, as districts remain uncertain so close to primary deadlines. In reviewing candidates’ applications, boards of elections need to be forgiving of minor mistakes and confusion with new district numbers, Young said.

“Those are the nuances that we’re going to have to deal with,” he said.

Three districts in Butler County will not only be renumbered but completely reshaped, though still within the county boundaries.

  • District 51, held by state Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, becomes District 44.
  • District 52, held by state Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester, becomes District 45.
  • District 53, held by state Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., becomes District 46.

“We went from more of an agricultural, more of a rural district, to more of a suburban district with picking up Liberty Twp.,” Hall said. “The rest of the district remains pretty intact.”

Representing fast-growing Liberty Twp. will shift his office’s focus somewhat, but as the primary election approaches, Hall will focus on knocking on every door he can, to let voters know what he’s doing in Columbus.

Neighboring Warren County remains relatively stable, with state Rep. Paul Zeltwanger’s District 54 and state Rep. Scott Lipps’ District 62 shifting only slightly; though District 62 is renumbered District 55.

In Greene County:

  • State Rep. Brian Lampton’s District 73 — renumbered 70 — loses Yellow Springs but gains a strip of the county’s south end.
  • State Rep. Rodney Dean’s District 74 becomes District 71, taking over Yellow Springs and a central part of Greene County while losing a bit north of Springfield and on the county’s south end.
  • State Rep. Kyle Koehler’s District 79 remains fairly stable, losing land southeast of Springfield but gaining to the northeast.

On the region’s north end Districts 80, 84 and 85 are largely unchanged — their numbers stay the same — though state Rep. Susan Manchester’s District 84 loses the St. Marys area to District 82 to the north.

Opponents of the now-overturned maps indicated they will fill objections to the new ones, too.

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