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Missouri Farm Bureau Chief Blake Hurst Makes Case For Amendment 3

Missouri House of Representatives members speak on the house floor on the last day of the legislative session.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Amendment 3 would alter Missouri's state legislative redistricting system. It would repeal and replace a redistricting plan known as Clean Missouri that voters approved in 2018.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. Hurst spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his organization’s support for Amendment 3, which would repeal and replace a state legislative redistricting system voters approved in 2018.

Amendment 3 would transfer redistricting responsibility from a demographer to either bipartisan commissioners or, more likely, appellate judges. It also changes the criteria for drawing House and Senate maps. For instance, compactness would go up on the priority list and substantially altered competitiveness and partisan fairness standards would go down.

During the program, Hurst talked about:

  • His organization’s support of Amendment 3, primarily driven by fears the existing plan would lessen the influence of rural communities in the Missouri General Assembly.
  • His response to contentions from Amendment 3 foes that moving up the compactness standards and moving down the changed competitiveness and partisan fairness formulas will result in less competitive state legislative maps.
  • Arguments, even from several Republicans, that it’s premature to repeal the 2018 state legislative redistricting plan, widely known as Clean Missouri, before it actually goes into effect.
  • The campaign to pass Amendment 3, which is being vastly outspent by a well-funded and well-organized campaign trying to persuade Missourians to vote down the initiative.

Hurst has served as president of the Missouri Farm Bureau since 2010. The Atchison County native runs a greenhouse business and also raises corn and soybeans with his family.

Sean Soendker Nicholson, one of the leaders of the opposition to Amendment 3, recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that will be posted in the coming days.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Blake Hurst on Twitter: @BlakeHurst

Music: “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.