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GOP Senators In Long Caucus On Remapping

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LANSING-Republican senators are wrestling with the problem of whether to gamble on congressional redistricting by giving in to the Potomac ambitions of one of their colleagues. So, Monday night the Senate did nothing except talk about the problem in a caucus for nearly two hours, schedule another caucus for Tuesday morning and promise an answer by Tuesday afternoon. Their problem is this: If the House-passed bill to redraw new congressional districts is opened up to give a "perfect" district to Sen. Charles O. Zollar, R-Benton Harbor, can it once again get House approval? Or would House Democrats take that as a signal to tinker even more with the districts and maybe scuttle the bill altogether? As approved by the House, the bill would provide safe districts for all of the present 19 congressmen. It would protect the current 12 Republicans and seven Democrats, even though Democrats claim they are entitled to a larger share of the congressional delegation. Zollar wants to alter the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts in southwestern Michigan. Key shifts would bring the City of Kalamazoo and several townships from Kalamazoo County into the 4th. Whole counties would be transferred from the 4th into the 3rd to make up for the loss of population. The change would probably sacrifice U.S. Rep. Edward Hutchinson, R-Fennville. The measure passed the House reluctantly, as an alternative to another adopted when six Democrats defected to Republicans for a plan that , gave Sen. John T. Bowman, D-Roseville, a shot at Congress, at the expense of U.S. Rep. Lucien Nedzi, D-Mich. Democrats, especially Sen. Coleman Young, D-Detroit, Senate minority floor leader, are adamant that Bowman should not be rewarded. They contend that it was Bowman who has prevented Democrats from being successful in getting a redistricting plan more favorable to them. Both sides obviously have their problems with Potomac fever.