Big changes coming in state legislature
On February 15, the Minnesota Supreme Court released new congressional and legislative district maps that will shape Minnesota politics for the next ten years. The task of drawing the maps fell to a panel established by the state Supreme Court after the Legislature and Governor Walz could not reach agreement on new district plans.
You can see the panel’s plans here:
- Congressional: Congressional-Maps.pdf (mncourts.gov)
- Legislative: Legislative-Maps.pdf (mncourts.gov)
You can also use this MPR News tool to see where you landed and how the new district voted in the 2020 presidential election: How were you redistricted? MPRnews.
Congressional Maps: Minnesota narrowly held onto eight Congressional seats in the 2020 U.S. Census – 89 fewer people and one of our seats would have gone to New York. As a result, many people were expecting a ‘least change’ plan for Minnesota’s Congressional districts and that’s largely what the court delivered.
The share of the vote that went to President Biden in each district in the last election did not change significantly based on the new lines.
Congressional Districts 1 (Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Blue Earth), 2 (Rep. Angie Craig, D-Prior Lake), and 8 (Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown) remain somewhat competitive.
Congressional Districts 3 (Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Deephaven) and 7 (Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville) were already fairly solid seats for the respective parties and got a little more favorable for the incumbents.
State Legislative Maps: Many of the biggest changes in the legislative maps will come from pairings of incumbent members. At least two dozen incumbents were paired together, setting up interesting decisions and creating new opportunities for first time candidates in November.
Many of the biggest boundary changes came in Olmsted County (Rochester), northern Anoka County, Isanti County, and Sherburne County, as well as the northern and western portions of Hennepin County.
Notably, both the House Minority Leader (Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown) and Senate Minority Leader (Sen. Melisa Lopez-Franzen, D-Edina) were paired with fellow members of their party. Rep. Daudt was paired with his former high school teacher, Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton). Sen. Lopez Franzen was paired with longtime incumbent Sen. Ron Latz (D-St. Louis Park).
Some pairings are already resolved by one of the two having previously announced their retirement. Others will be resolved through intra-party contests, while at least one – a swing district centered around the city of Anoka and a section of Coon Rapids – features a tentative matchup between a sitting Republican and incumbent Democrat in the Minnesota House.
Reactions: The maps were met with surprise for the large number of incumbent pairings and interesting construction of certain legislative districts.
The new Minnesota Senate District 22, for instance, winds from the bottom of Martin County along the Iowa border up around Mankato to the southern edge of Scott County.
The new Senate District 41 starts in the southern half of Hastings in Dakota County, bypasses Woodbury to the east, and stretches all the way up to Grant in central Washington County.
In coming days, we’re likely to see more retirements, some relocations by incumbent members to open seats, and some intraparty battles.
We’ll revisit redistricting and what it means for control of the Minnesota Legislature and U.S. Congress as more data becomes available.