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Republican Redistricting Plan Squeezes Richfield, Minneapolis Lawmakers

Richfield Rep. Ken Kelash responds to House Republicans' redistricting plan.

A state Minnesota House Republican redistricting plan that was approved by a committee Tuesday would pit 20 incumbent House members and six Senate members against one another in 2012 election.

Richfield’s would be one of the six senators to battle it out. Under the plan, Kelash would face-off against Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Southwest Minneapolis). The current plan doesn’t appear to affect House or district boundaries.

Republicans said the redistricting process—which has been led by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth)—has been fair, although it inordinately pits incumbent Democrats against one another. Democrats said the process by which the plan was conceived was flawed because it didn't incorporate enough public input or reach out to impacted communities.

“Of course everybody’s map is fair,” Kelash told Patch. “[The Democrats' plan] is going to be fair until Republicans look at it … In the end it might be the courts that decide what fair looks like."

Although Democrats condemned the Republican process for the plan, they said it was just the first of many small steps in the redistricting process.

"I don’t think these lines will stand,” Kelash said. “There are a lot more decisions to be made. It doesn’t do too much good to get worked up about preliminary plans.”

As far as the potential for Kelash not serving Richfield in the future, he said, "I've been a strong advocate for Richfield and the current district on areas surrounding the airport and other things. My preference would be to be able to [continue] doing that kind of stuff. Who knows what the cards are going to lay out for us?”

Senate Republicans are expected to release their own plan later this week. A final redistricting plan will have to be approved by Gov. Mark Dayton by late February of 2012, although lawmakers said it's likely the plan will be vetoed and again decided by the courts.

Dennis Gillespie May 04, 2011 at 10:57 PM
Living here in Richfield and those in Minneapolis, the only choice you have in electing a representative is just how liberal a Democrat will you have representing you.
Kevin O'Donovan May 05, 2011 at 12:56 AM
The DFL is addicte to OPM, ( OTHER PEOPLES' MONEY ). This comes at the cost of other peoples' liberty, the suppression of initiative, and the inability to express their talents and God given abilities. Does DFL stand for DEVIANT FAMILY LIFE, or DEFICITS FOR LIFETIMES ? WE SHALL OVERCOME ! ITS' TEA TIME !
Dennis Gillespie May 05, 2011 at 01:24 AM
Amen Kevin
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 05, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Thanks for your comments Kevin and Dennis. You both had gone dormant for a little while! Thanks for reading and getting in the discussion!
Mary Barnes May 05, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Staying out of the "boys" discussion. Since I am a "tomboy" who loves to dig in the dirt. It is great to know that my Navy background, from my husband, I can get my self out of any jam. Ask those 911 firefighters, that approached me in the bar in Manitowac, WI. My husband, and his best friend Charlie, just sit back, and watch the fun. Life is short, have fun! What was that pig that Ron-Mar Foods had in the door? Charlie Walton, Reds Pizza, you know! Cossetta's.. & Frank at Buon Girno, Mendota Heights, can contest, to the fact, that nice wins. Even when you are collecting money.
Mary Barnes May 05, 2011 at 04:42 AM
Can't forget Ptackts, across the border in WI. Best meat & cheese trays. Remember them for graduation. Only if you live near the border. Probably spelled the name wrong, but grab a phone book, what is a phone book? You know that thing that people dump on your door step. they get paid to dump it on your door step, so read it. Novel idea.
Mary Barnes May 05, 2011 at 04:44 AM
Kevin, I hope you have a great Mothers Day weekend. I am sure, you have a Mother. Please bring her flowers.
Mike McLean May 05, 2011 at 12:33 PM
As I looked at the proposed redistricting, it appears that Richfield's two DFL'ers would be replaced by two GOP'ers. That would be great. Now if we can just rid ourselves of Keith Ellison, life would be good.....
Dennis Gillespie May 05, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Mike I think You are dreaming, it is a nice dream, but then I never expected Oberstar to be defeated. The only way you will get rid of Keith Ellison is to move to Texas or South Dakota.
Kevin O'Donovan May 05, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Mike, you might like to read about our congressman from CAIR, ( a Muslim Brotherhood front group ) and his affinity toward radical Islamist, and incendiary figures. Andrew McCarthy's book "the Grand Jihad" , puts him in perspective. What organization recently paid for his trip to Mecca? Being a Muslim doesn't detract from a man, being a hypocrite does.
Gordon Hanson May 05, 2011 at 02:10 PM
Actually anyone who cares about the voice of Richfield being represented in state government should be worried about this initial proposal. The plan divides Richfield into two different State Senate Districts, and Richfield is the lesser component in each district. The plans shows a proposed District 61 (shared with Minneapolis and Edina) and District 49 (shared with Bloomington). As I said, Richfield is the small component in each of these proposed Senate districts, this reducing Richfield's influence in each of them. This contrasts with the current State Senate District 63 where Richfield is intact and the largest municipal component within the district. With the current district lines, Richfield is important to our state legislators. With the proposed plan, we may not be that important because our city is split in two.
Mary Barnes May 06, 2011 at 05:03 AM
Thank you Gordon. They have tried to sell us to Minneapolis, now they are selling us to Edina? Who is our mayor talking with? Not Bloomington, and not Fort Snelling. Please someone, go take a bubble bath, and call us in the morning.
Mary Barnes May 06, 2011 at 05:05 AM
I will be in Edina for a wake tomorrow, A Roisum Foods employee, at the Cremation Society. Bloomington Resident. Please pay your respects, and get off your cell phone.
Mike McLean May 06, 2011 at 12:12 PM
It's funny that you mention "They have tried to sell us to Minneapolis". I remember seeing a very old map of the Twin Cities. At that point in time, Richfield's border extended as far North as Franklin Ave. My how we have shrunk.....
Mary Barnes May 07, 2011 at 05:45 AM
Thank you Mike, we all need to meet at Broadway Pizza. PATCH has keep me grounded since December, when my dad died. 3 deaths and a car accident. Now 3 more deaths. My uncle In SC, the Glenn T., that worked for Rosium Foods, and today, our dear friend Duane Schuck, of Bloomington. Both recent men, only in their 70's. Duane, was a V-8 car club man. The nicest Bloomington employee (ex) you would ever want to meet. Jean his wife is awesome. Karen Jenkins, also, has helped me keep my head above water. Mary

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