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6 Applicants Eligible For New Missouri State Demographer Job

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Six people are being considered for the new state demographer position that will draw Missouri’s legislative districts. 

The applicants are Damon Braidlow, Donald B. Cripe, Sara Hartman, Bryan Kinworthy, R. Zane Price and Jason J. Ross. 

The position was created by the Clean Missouri amendment that was approved by 62% of voters in 2018. The demographer is required to be nonpartisan in order to draw the state legislative districts fairly and competitively. Legislators who have questioned the process may try to change it in the 2020 session that begins next month.

The amendment states that partisan fairness means “that parties shall be able to translate their popular support into legislative representation with approximately equal efficiency.” The districts should also be drawn according to competitiveness, which means “that parties’ legislative representation shall be substantially and similarly responsive to shifts in the electorate’s preferences.” 

The state auditor’s office accepted applications Sept. 5-Dec. 4. Some applicants had until Thursday to send in any additional information needed. 

Senate leaders are to pick the demographer, but if they can’t agree, the position will be filled through a lottery system. 

According to the amendment, “to be eligible for the nonpartisan state demographer position, an individual shall not have served in a partisan, elected position for four years prior to the appointment. The nonpartisan state demographer shall be disqualified from holding office as a member of the general assembly for four years following the date of the presentation of his or her most recent legislative redistricting map to the house apportionment commission or the senatorial apportionment commission.” 

The position is assigned to the Office of Administration. The demographer will serve a five-year term and may be reappointed.

Since the application process is ongoing, neither the state auditor or Senate leadership would comment on the applicants or the demographer position.

Follow Jaclyn on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

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Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.