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New redistricting maps show changes for some area voters
Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

WRIGHT, MEEKER, MN – Come November, some rural Dassel and Cokato residents will find that the new redistricting maps released Tuesday, no longer place them in their current district.

Under the new maps, Stockholm and French Lake township, will be in the new State Senate District 29, which includes the cities of Annandale, Howard Lake, Waverly, Montrose, and Delano, among other precincts. The previous map put them under District 18, currently represented by State Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson).

District 18B, represented by State Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Acton Township) is now 18A, and includes Collinwood Township and extends to the west portion of Hutchinson.

“I’m just very happy that it’s done,” Newman said in a statement issued last week. “Candidly, there’s an awful lot of discussion and energy down here in St. Paul at the capitol regarding where the various districts are going to be drawn, and at least now we can get back to business and begin pressing forward on some of the legislation that I think is so important.”

By law, district boundaries must be re-drawn every 10 years, following the census, to equalize representation according to population.

Representative Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) announced Thursday that he will seek the newly-formed open Senate District 29A seat.

Anderson currently represents the cities of Buffalo, Clearwater, Maple Lake, and Monticello, and eight townships. He resides in Buffalo Township with his wife, Ruth.

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said last week she will run in the newly-drawn 6th Congressional District, even though she doesn’t live in the district.

The new maps cut Washington County in half, placing part of the old 6th Congressional District, which includes Stillwater, where Bachmann lives, in the 4th District.

Candidates for Congress are not required to live in the district in which they are seeking election.

Steve Shiroo of Cokato to run against Urdahl

As announced at the DFL caucus earlier this month, Steve Shiroo, Cokato, will run against Urdahl in the November election.

Shiroo, a native of Glencoe, works for Mykkanen Foster and Waivered Services Inc., where he works with mentally disabled men.

Growing up with an interest in politics, Shiroo’s interests lie in helping people and making lives better.

He sees the agriculture industry as a necessity and one that provides reliable jobs now and into the future.

Politically, he feels that Minnesota has been looking at national solutions to the state’s problems. Instead, it should find common-sense solutions and start working across party lines.

“We need to change our ways,” Shiroo said, who was a delegate in the 2010 Meeker County Convention.

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