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Redistricting Ruling Shakes Up Richfield Legislators' Home Turf

Two DFLers could face each other, while another Richfield district seat is open.

A state judicial panel on Tuesday released the redrawn boundaries for Minnesota’s congressional and legislative districts, shifting Richfield legislator's territory fairly dramaticallyand potentially putting two DFL incumbents head to head and creating an open seat.

Sen. Ken Kelash (DFL-District 63), who currently represents Richfield, much of Bloomington and a piece of Minneapolis, could now face Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-60) as an opponent in a redrawn District 61. Regardless of the new lines, Kelash said Thursday he planned to run for re-election.

Moreover, Richfield will be split between two districts: Everything north and east of 73rd Street and Lyndale Avenue falls into Senate District 61, leaving the majority of Richfield in a new Senate District 50. That portion of District 50 doesn't currently have a senator. Republican Sen. Dan Hall, in the current District 40—whose territory might otherwise cover some of Richfield—and has also had his lines redrawn and doesn't live within the new district boundaries, pushing him further south and west.

In addition, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-63A) has seen his territory shifted northeast, eliminating his coverage of Richfield, while Rep. Linda Slocum (D-63B) hung on to Richfield but lost Bloomington.

At the federal level, Richfield will remain in the Fifth Congressional District, currently represented by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.

Legislative and congressional boundaries are redrawn every 10 years to correspond with the most recent U.S. Census data.

cluger February 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM
This map shows Rep. Slocum is now in the same legislative district as Rep. Wagenius (Mpls-62B). http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2012/02/redistricting_map/
Drew Miller February 22, 2012 at 05:48 PM
@ cluger: From the map posted on Minnesota Public Radio, it certainly appears that under the new district lines Rep. Wagenius and Rep. Slocum will be vying for the same seat (63B). With only a few city blocks sometimes making all the difference, stay tuned to see what impact redistricting will have on Richfield's state legislators.
Dave Kircher February 23, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I am sure this is an oversight, but all the DFL Senators and Representatives names are hyperlinked to the Minnesota State Senate and House Representatives websites, but the Republican one is not. It would seem to me that public paper would like to remain objective in all matters as to demonstrate that is only reporting facts and not any bias towards any group.

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