The redistricting map approved by the Nebraska legislature this spring moves more state Senate districts away from the country and into more urban areas.
Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill says as the population swings away from rural areas and toward cities, representation follows.
“The urban senators really can’t forget that rural Nebraska is extremely important to Nebraska’s economy,” Larson says. “We still produce 98% of the exports for the state of Nebraska. To be honest, agriculture still dominates this state’s economy and oftentimes I feel that Omaha and Lincoln senators forget that.”
He notes that the state’s two largest cities now have a 25-to-24 advantage over rural senators in the unicameral. Larson says the rural legislators are close-knit.
“If we can hold together with 23 or 24 votes and then add a few conservative, urban guys, rural Nebraska can still hold off the cities,” Larson says, “but in ten years, I begin to worry more that urban Nebraska will continue to gain control.”
The redistricting was based on changes in the state’s population shown in the 2010 census.
Larson spoke this week before the Douglas County Republicans in Omaha.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton