By Ryan Gueningsman
ST. PAUL, MN The lines have been re-drawn, and last week, the new legislative districts across the state became known.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of election districts, and it is done in the United States every 10 years after the completion of the census, according to Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. The purpose of redistricting is to ensure that the people of each district are equally represented.
Locally, Delano and Montrose will now become part of Minnesota House of Representatives District 29A. In addition to Delano and Montrose, the district will now include the cities of Waverly, Howard Lake, South Haven, Annandale, and Rockford.
It will also include the townships of Franklin, Woodland, Victor, Stockholm, French Lake, Southside, Corinna, Albion, Middleville, Marysville, Chatham, and Rockford.
Rep. Joe McDonald (R-Delano) currently represents District 19B, and said he is sad to be losing the St. Michael, Albertville, and Otsego areas from the district he serves, but said he’s excited about representing the areas to the west and north of Delano.
“Geographically, my area got bigger,” McDonald said. “These days, with the cost of fuel going up, it is going to cost a bit more to get out there.”
He said he is excited to be working with the Howard Lake area, and said he has participated in the Wright County Fair, which takes place in Howard Lake, for many years.
McDonald said managing the parade schedule for the communities in the district is going to be a challenge as both Delano and Annandale have parades on the Fourth of July.
McDonald has been involved with planning the Delano parade since the mid-1990s, and said he now will have to try to make it to both of the parades this year.
On the legislative side, McDonald said he will have to be more in tune with the agriculture-related bills, as his district will now have more rural area. He said, in the near future, he will be meeting with community leaders in those communties he presently represents to go over any concerns or pending legislation.
He also plans on sending a letter to Republican Party delegates and alternates, as well as making introductions to the new communities that will be part of the district through local newspapers and perhaps town hall meetings.
On the Senate side, Delano and Montrose will now become part of District 29, which will include all of Wright County, with the exception of the northwest (Clearwater area), Cokato and Cokato Township, and also St. Michael, Albertville, Hanover, and Otsego.
Delano and Montrose are presently represented by Sen. Amy Koch, who has announced she will not be seeking reelection.
Rep. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo) announced Thursday he will seek the newly-formed open Senate District 29 seat.
“I have been very humbled by the outpouring of support from all corners of the new district,” Anderson said.
Anderson currently represents the cities of Buffalo, Clearwater, Maple Lake, and Monticello, and eight townships. Anderson resides in Buffalo Township with his wife, Ruth.
A Democratic candidate has not yet come forward to vie for the position.
The primary, Tuesday, Aug. 14, will be the first election in which the new district boundaries apply.
All seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate will be up for election in 2012, under the new district boundaries, with new terms beginning in 2013.
Candidates for the House or Senate will need to file for office based on their residence under the new boundaries, according to Ritchie.
For incumbents, this may or may not be the same district that they have represented in the past. Legislative candidates must reside in their district six months before Tuesday, Nov. 6, (that is, starting Saturday, May 5).
On the Congressional side, Delano will remain part of the sixth Congressional district, as will all of Wright County.
To the east, Loretto will be part of Minnesota House of Representatives District 33A, and state Senate District 33, both of which include a majority of western Hennepin County.