This year's state elections could shape future for Congress

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Democrats will renew their battle to wrest control of Congress from Republicans this year, but the contests with the greatest long-term consequences could be elsewhere on the ballot.

The outcome of races for governor and state legislative seats will shape the boundaries of congressional districts for the decade to come.

Voters in two-thirds of the states will be electing governors to four-year terms in 2018. Of those, 26 will be vested with the power to approve or reject congressional maps that will be redrawn after the 2020 Census.

About 760 state legislative seats will be up for election for four-year terms, ensuring the winners will play a role in approving congressional maps.

Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, called 2018 "enormously consequential for redistricting."

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