The Wenatchee area will be represented by three different state legislative districts after the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday refused to block new district boundaries.

State Rep. Alex Ybarra (R-Quincy) and two Republican voters had asked the high court for an emergency stay on Washington U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik's ruling last month that put the new districts on place.

They went to the Supreme Court after a three-judge panel from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also declined to block new boundaries.

Lasnik sided with plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged a voting district in the Yakima Valley which was part of the state legislative map drawn up by an independent commission in 2022. The plaintiffs claimed the district violated the Voting Rights Act by denying Hispanic voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates.

The Supreme Court's inaction means a legislative map adopted by Lasnik will stay in place. The map unites Latino-majority communities from East Yakima to Pasco and has the residual effect of changing boundaries in 13 legislative districts.

As a result, the Wenatchee area is divided into three districts.

Downtown Wenatchee and Olds Station will join East Wenatchee and most of Douglas County in District 7 represented by Sen. Shelly Short (R-Addy), Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda), and Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber (R-Republic)

Rock Island and an area including Pangborn Airport will be moved into the 13th District represented by Sen. Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake), Rep. Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake), and Ybarra, who appealed to the Supreme Court

District 12 will include most of Wenatchee and Chelan County while stretching over the Cascades to the eastern edge of the Seattle suburbs. The 12th District is represented by Sen. Brad Hawkins (R), who will move from East Wenatchee to Wenatchee to remain in the district, Rep. Mike Steele (R-Chelan), and Rep. Keith Goehner (R-Dryden).

Meanwhile, the appeal of Judge Lasnik's ruling to change legislative districts is still alive in the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals.

Arguments will be made in a couple of months when briefs are due. A decision now could only affect maps beginning in 2026.

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Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

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