State Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, and state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, announced plans for bipartisan legislation next session that would award Minnesota's 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes in all 50 states, regardless of who Minnesota votes for. Garofalo said the change would guarantee equal value for every vote.
"If you look at the current process, everyone understands that places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, swings states, this is a really good process for them right now," Garofalo said. "Unfortunately, the rest of the country gets hosed."
Organizers of the national effort stress that they are not trying to eliminate the Electoral College, and that a constitutional amendment is not needed to make the changes they seek. They say the new rules would take effect when states possessing a majority of 270 electoral votes enact an identical bill. So far,
nine eight states and the District of Columbia with 132 electoral votes are on board.
Posted at 3:25 PM on August 16, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: Minn. House Races, Campaign 2012: Minn. Senate Races, Campaign 2012: U.S. House, MN Legislature, Mark Dayton, Redistricting
A five member panel of judges tasked with redrawing the state's political lines has awarded $345,000 in attorney's fees.
The judicial panel ruled that attorneys representing the DFL Party, Republicans in Minnesota and a group of DFL citizens are entitled to $115,000 each for the work on the redistricting case. The court ruled that the funds should be made available as a result of the Civil Rights Act. Attorneys for the three groups were seeking a total payment of $691,131.
The attorneys were hired to represent the parties in court after Democratic Governor Mark Dayton failed to agree to a set of political boundaries with GOP leaders in the Legislature. A five member judicial panel was then tasked with taking testimony on how the new set of political lines should be drawn as result of the 2010 census. The court released the new set of maps in February.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie asked the panel to deny attorneys fees because he said taxpayers should not bear the expense of redistricting.
Here's the order:
A110152Order - Taxation of Costs-Disbursements Andor Atty Fees
The Deputy Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate didn't win her party's endorsement for re-election on Tuesday night.
Republican delegates in Senate District 47 chose not to endorse a candidate after neither incumbent Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, nor auto mechanic Bruce Schwichtenberg could win 60 percent delegate support after five ballots.
No endorsement means primary voters will decide which candidate should represent the party in the November election.
Schwichtenberg says he believes his work as vice chair of the Carver County Republican Party will help him win the August primary. He said he's concerned that Ortman authored plans to tax internet purchases and make other changes that he considers tax increases.
"There's a lot of tax bills that she's authored that, quite frankly, a lot of Democrats would be proud of," Schwichtenberg said.
Ortman, who chairs the Senate Taxes Committee, did not respond to an interview request but said in a text message that she has no plans yet except to take a couple of days off.(1 Comments)
There are several members of the Minnesota Senate who gave retirement speeches today. Some served just months (Mary Jo McGuire) while others served decades (Keith Langseth and Gen Olson)
Here's the list (in order of speeches):
Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon
Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights
Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas
Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca (Running for Congress)
Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo
Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley
Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel
Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina
Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan
Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista
There is one member who didn't announce his intentions.
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, said he wouldn't run for reelection after being paired with Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont. He has said he's reconsidering.
The list means there are at least 36 members of the Legislature who are retiring this year. Read the House list here.
A few more may decide before the filing date to not run again. The voters may decide that others shouldn't return.
Sen. DeKruif said he has not yet decided whether he will retire or challenge Sen. Rosen.
"I'm going to take a few days and give that some thought, talk with my family and then make a decision," he said. "I'm not ready right now to say."
Meanwhile, Rosen said she wants to serve one more term in the Senate.
"I'm ready to run again, absolutely," Rosen said.(1 Comments)
Several members of the Minnesota House gave their farewell speeches earlier this morning. Some of the members served only 1 term. Others served for two decades.
Here's the list (in order of speeches):
Rep. Marion Greene, DFL-Minneapolis
Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove
Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton
Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls
Rep. Denise Dittrich, DFL-Champlin
Rep. Pat Mazorol, R-Bloomington
Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph
Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood
Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake
Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson
Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville
House members who didn't give retirement speeches but have said they're retiring:
Rep. Kurt Bills, R-Rosemount (running for the U.S. Senate)
Rep. Brandon Peterson, R-Andover (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Perham
Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan
Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo Township (running for Minnesota Senate)
Update: I'm told Rep. Murdock was going to speak but had major shoulder surgery last week. He was in the chamber for the stadium vote but I'm told he was in a lot of pain so left before he could give his retirement speech.
There are also two members who lost endorsement battles who haven't said whether they'll run in a primary
DFL Rep. Tom Tilberry, DFL-Fridley
GOP Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake
I've been trying to track the list of lawmakers who aren't running for their current legislative seat. Some lawmakers have said they aren't running again. Others decided to run for higher office. Others have been "retired" through redistricting or endorsement battles. I also included paired incumbents because one of them will be "retired" by the voters in November.
Here's The List...
Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon
Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake
Amy Koch, R-Buffalo
Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista
Geoff Michel, R-Edina
Claire Robling, R-Jordan
Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley
Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis (is running for Hennepin County Commissioner)
Incumbents who lost endorsement battles and aren't running again:
Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel (Lost to Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake)
Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis (Lost to Melissa Halverson Wiklund)
Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights (Lost to Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville)
Senate incumbents who are leaving seat to run for higher office:
Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas (Lost CD7 endorsement to Lee Byberg)
Mike Parry, R-Waseca (Seeking CD1 endorsement)
Incumbents who didn't receive endorsement but may run in a primary:
John Harrington, DFL-St. Paul
(Note: DFL delegates voted not to endorse after several ballots)
Incumbents paired with an incumbent from another party:
John Carlson, R-Bemidji, is paired with Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids.
Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, is paired with Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar.
(Note: Koenen won a special election this week to replace the late Gary Kubly)
Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail
Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson
Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph
Denise Dittrich, DFL-Champlin
Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton
Pat Mazorol, R-Bloomington
Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood
John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove
Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan
Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville
Incumbents who lost endorsement battles and aren't running again:
Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake (lost to Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe)
Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake (lost to Matt Dean, R-Dellwood)
Update: McFarlane told me she's "weighing all options" when asked if she's thinking about running in a primary.
Marion Greene, DFL-Minneapolis (lost to Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis)
House incumbents who lost endorsement but may run in a primary:
Tom Tillberry, DFL-Fridley
(Note: DFL delegates endorsed former Rep. Connie Bernardy over Tillberry)
Incumbents running for another office:
Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley (Running for MN Senate)
Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake (Running for MN Senate)
Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo (Running for MN Senate)
Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake (Running for MN Senate)
Connie Doepke, R-Orono (Running for MN Senate)
Branden Peterson, R-Andover (Running for MN Senate)
Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada (Running for MN Senate)
Keith Downey, R-Edina (Running for MN Senate)
Kurt Bills, R-Rosement (Running for U.S. Senate)
Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis (Running for MN Senate)
Incumbents paired with an incumbent from the other party:
Larry Howes, R-Walker, is paired with John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.
Carolyn McElfatrick, R-Deer River, is paired with Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township.
The chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee announced this morning that she's not running for re-election. Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan, says she made the decision after thinking about it for the past year.
"Sixteen years in this position is long enough," Robling said in a statement. "I find my enthusiasm for doing this job for another four years is waning. I think it's time to let someone else step into this spot."
Robling also said that she's becoming more concerned that the Legislature has become more partisan over the years.
"I fear that statesmen are vanishing as partisanship deepens," Robling said in a statement. "It is very difficult to pass common sense measures into law these days because special interest groups block or promote agendas that only benefit themselves."
Robling was first elected in 1996 and didn't face a serious challenge in the upcoming election. She has represented Scott County over the past ten years.
Robling is one of the most senior members in the Senate Republican Caucus. She's also the 14th member of the Senate to announce that they're not running in November (10 Republicans and four Democrats). A court panel released a new set of political boundaries in February.
Update: Here's an interview MPR's Tom Crann did with Robling:
Here's the list of retirements:
Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon
Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas (opted to run for Congress in the 7th District but lost the endorsement to Lee Byberg)
Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake (announced retirement after he was paired with GOP Sen. Julie Rosen)
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca (running for Congress in the 1st District)
Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo
Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel(lost endorsement battle with GOP Sen. Michelle Benson)
Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista
Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina
Sen. Clair Robling, R-Jordan
Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley
Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis (lost endorsement battle to Michelle Wikilund)
Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights (lost endorsement battle to DFL Sen. John Marty)
Posted at 9:43 PM on April 10, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Campaign 2012, Campaign 2012: Minn. House Races, Campaign 2012: Minn. Senate Races, MN Legislature, Mark Dayton, Redistricting
State Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, has won a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Gary Kubly. Koenen received 54 percent of the vote. Republican Gregg Kulberg received 40 percent and Independence Party member Leon Greenslit was third with five percent of the vote. The district includes Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.
Gov. Dayton called the special election to fill the vacant seat after Kubly died from ALS in March. Koenen will serve out the remainder of Kubly's term but will also challenge GOP Sen. Joe Gimse in a newly configured Senate district. A court-appointed panel paired Gimse and Kubly when they designed the new political boundaries in February.
Koenen announced he would challenge Gimse after he was paired Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock in the new political boundaries.
Update: Gov. Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci says Dayton will not call a special election to fill Koenen's seat. She said it's not possible to fill the seat this legislative session (based on timing). She said the seat will be filled on the Nov. 6 general election.(2 Comments)
Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, announced today that he's not running for re-election.
"Eight to 10 years is really what I feel is a limit as to what a person should serve as public servant," Magnus said. "I've reached that 10 year time period and it's time to move on."
Magnus chairs the Senate Agriculture Budget and Policy Committee. He said he's proud of his work on ag and veterans issues. He said he's most focused taking care of his farm in southwestern Minnesota.
Magnus is the eighth incumbent senator to announce that he isn't running for re-election. Thirteen members of the Minnesota House have announced they're leaving after this year.
Here's the list:
Republicans not running for re-election to the Minnesota Senate:
Gretchen Hoffman (running for Congress)
Note: Republican Mike Parry is running for Congress but has not ruled out a run for re-election if he fails to win his party's endorsement.
DFLers not running for re-election to the MN Senate:
- Republicans Michelle Benson and Michael Jungbauer were paired in the same district and are battling for the Republican endorsement. Both say they would abide by the party endorsement.
- DFLers John Marty and Mary Jo McGuire were paired and are battling for the DFL endorsement. Marty said he will abide by the party's endorsement. McGuire
wouldn't make the same commitment when she spoke with MPR News a few weeks ago. told me on Tuesday that she would abide by the DFL endorsement.
Republicans not running for re-election to the Minnesota House:
Torrey Westrom (running for state Senate)
Bruce Anderson (running for state Senate)
Mary Kiffmeyer (running for state Senate)
Connie Doepke (running for state Senate)
Branden Peterson (running for state Senate)
DFLers not running for re-election to the Minnesota House:
Kent Eken (running for state Senate)
Lyle Koenen (running for state Senate)
Bev Scalze (running for state Senate)
Bobby Joe Champion (running for state Senate)
Endorsement contests in the Minnesota House:
- Republicans Glenn Gruenhagen and Ron Shimanski will battle for their party's endorsement. Both candidates say they will abide by the endorsement.
- Republicans Matt Dean and Carol McFarlane will battle for their party's endorsement. Both candidates will abide.
- Democrats Frank Hornstein and Marion Greene will seek the DFL party's endorsement. Both candidates will abide by the endorsement.
House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, announced today that he will run for re-election in House District 38B.
The new map of legislative district boundaries paired Dean with Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake, who earlier announced her plan to run for reelection.
In a news release, Dean said he wants to continue the work of the House Republican Caucus.
"When we gained the majority in the Legislature last year, we inherited a $6.3 billion budget deficit," Dean said. "I'm proud to say the work we did holding the line on taxes and curbing spending created a $1.2 billion surplus. I'm running for re-election because the state needs to continue on this fiscally conservative path. We also have lots of work left on our Reform 2.0 agenda, dramatically changing the way we deliver state government on behalf of the taxpayers."
Dean was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2004. He said he will seek the GOP endorsement and abide by the results.
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, announced today that he will not seek reelection. DeKruif, who was paired with Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, announced last week that he would not challenge Rosen but left open the possibility of moving to a new district. He decided against taking that step today.
"I need to do what is best for my family and businesses," DeKruif said in a statement. "After all, it is Minnesota families and job creators that led me to serve in the first place."
DeKruif is one of the final incumbents to announce a decision about their political future.
The new political boundaries were released late last month. 48 members of the House and Senate were paired together. The only paired incumbent who hasn't said what he'll do is GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean (you can read more about that here).
Here are the latest details in the Senate:
The new maps mean there will be two endorsement battles in the Minnesota Senate. Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, will challenge Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel.
Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, will challenge Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights. Marty says he'll abide by the endorsement. McGuire hasn't made the same commitment.
There will be one general election battle between incumbents in the Senate as well. Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, will face Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids.
One member of the Senate will seek higher office. Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, said she's running for Congress in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.
Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo, announced on Friday that he's moving into an open seat. Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis, also announced he'd move instead of challenging another incumbent.
Here are the latest details in the House:
There will be at least two endorsement battles in the Minnesota House. Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, and Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake, say they'll let GOP delegates decide which one of them will continue on.
Rep. Marion Green, DFL-Minneapolis, and Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, will also have a convention battle and will abide by the DFL endorsement.
Note: There could be another convention fight between Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake, and Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, if Dean decides to run for reelection.
There will be three general election match-ups among incumbents. Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, and Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, will face each other in November. Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick, R-Deer River, will face Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township. Rep. Roger Crawford, R-Mora, will challenge Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson.
Nine incumbent House members will run for the Minnesota Senate. They are DFL Rep. Kent Eken, GOP Rep. Torrey Westrom, DFL Rep. Lyle Koenen, GOP Rep. Bruce Anderson, GOP Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, GOP Rep. Connie Doepke, GOP Rep. Branden Peterson, DFL Rep. Bev Scalze and DFL Rep. Bobby Joe Champion.
Two members announced on Friday that they'll move into different districts. Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Nelson Township, was paired with GOP Rep. Tony Cornish. Torkelson said he'll move into an open seat. Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Shafer, also announced that he'll move into an open seat rather than challenge Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake. Rep. Linda Slocum, DFL-Richfield, also announced she's moving rather than challenging Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis.
Every member of the Legislature is up for reelection this November.
Tom Gillaspy will become one of the statistics that he carefully tracked next week when he retires as Minnesota State Demographer.
Gillaspy steps down Tuesday after more than 32 years of public service. He was the state's chief source of demographic data and analysis since 1979. A news release today from the Department of Administration said that Gillaspy's tenure as state demographer spanned six governors and four national censuses.
"It's been quite an interesting and fun time," Gillaspy said. "We've seen so many demographic changes and all these changes have affected programs and budgets and have had a big impact on the state. There have been ups and downs, and lots of challenges, but it's always been interesting."
The release said Gillaspy's plans for retirement include regular speaking engagements, consulting work and a teaching position at the University of Minnesota. Susan Brower will take over as state demographer.
Put in a tough race due to redistricting, Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL - New Brighton, says she will not seek re-election to Minnesota House.
The state's new political boundaries would have pitted Knuth against fellow DFLer Rep. Tom Tillberry of Fridley.
"I am proud of the work we do together to make Minnesota an exceptional place to live," Knuth wrote in a press release announcing her decision, pointing to her work on environmental and energy issues.
"While I will not be seeking re-election, I look forward to serving my neighbors through this term. I will continue to seek out ways in which to contribute to making Minnesota, and the world, a healthier and more sustainable place. I consider myself lucky to love Minnesota, my home state, more than I can fully describe. My service, leadership, and life's work will always be firmly rooted in this place and its people."
Meanwhile, DFL Rep. Lyle Koenen announced he will run for the Minnesota Senate for GOP Sen. Joe Gimse's seat. Koenen was paired with DFL Rep. Andrew Falk who plans to run again this year.
Tom Scheck contributed to this report.
Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake, announced on Sunday night that she's running for reelection. Her decision puts House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, in a difficult position. Dean, the second highest member of the Minnesota House, now has to decide whether he wants to challenge a member of his party to come back to the Minnesota House.
The new political boundaries paired McFarlane and Dean in the same district. McFarlane hedged on whether she would run for reelection until today. She emphasized that she represents the bulk of the new district.
"The new district (HD38B) retains approx. 80% of what was HD53B which I have had the honor of serving for 3 terms," McFarlane wrote in a statement. "The new House district will add Precinct 1 in North Oaks, Dellwood and some of Hugo. When I served on the White Bear Lake Area School Board (2000-2006), I represented many of the Hugo residents from the new district."
Dean has not said whether he would run for reelection in the current district, move into a new district, run for a different office or retire.
McFarlane wasn't the only incumbent who made a decision over the weekend.
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, announced tonight that he wasn't going to challenge Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont. Rosen announced last week that she would run for reelection when the maps were released last week. DeKruif, who was paired with Rosen under the new map, said he won't challenge Rosen. He said in a statement that he may move into a new district.
"I have always felt that a senator or representative belongs to a district and it's citizens, rather than the opposite," DeKruif said in a statement. "Because I will have to make a significant change for my family, I want to make sure its right. Regardless of the outcome, I'm proud of the work I've done for and with my constituents."
DeKruif told MPR News last week that it was unlikely that he would move into a new district.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party Chair for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District announced on Saturday that he's running for the Minnesota House. David Fitzsimmons said he's running in House District 30B.
"As a proud conservative I will work tirelessly to represent this district with strong convictions based on the beliefs of life, liberty and smaller government. My vision is to make Minnesota government limited and less intrusive to create a stronger environment for Minnesota job growth."
Fitzsimmons was also the campaign manager for Tom Emmer's campaign for governor.
Incumbent lawmakers in the Minnesota House and Senate are starting to make concrete decisions about their political futures, and many of those decisions could impact party control of the Minnesota Senate.
Two incumbents paired in the same Minnesota Senate District have decided to run against each other.
Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, and Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights, both announced today that they are running for re-election. The two were hoping to avoid an endorsement battle, but that's not going to happen. The new district, which includes St. Paul, Roseville, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights, is split nearly halfway between Marty's current district and McGuire's current district.
"It's a tough one," McGuire said. "Because sometimes with redistricting you say 'Who got moved into who's district?' but it's both of our districts."
McGuire wouldn't commit to abiding by the DFL endorsement. Marty said he would. Marty said he'll emphasize his record of standing up to interest groups when he speaks with voters.
"It's a question of not just being there but standing up to the most powerful interests," Marty said. "It doesn't matter what the group is, I've been willing to stick my neck out."
State Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis, announced today that he will move into Senate District 50 rather than have an endorsement fight with Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis. The two were paired this week after a court appointed panel released the state's new political boundaries. Kelash said today that he's in the process of hiring a real estate agent to help him move into the district that includes Richfield and Bloomington. He said SD50 includes more than half of the district he currently represents.
"I know the district well, and I think I can continue serving there," Kelash said. "I think I'll give voters a chance to see if they want to keep me there for awhile."
Kelash said he has spoken with Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, about her intentions but decided not to wait for her to make up her mind about running there. Lenczewski has reportedly been interested in running for the seat. She hasn't returned calls to discuss her decision. Update: Bloomington School Board Chair Melissa Halvorson Wiklund announced that she's running for the seat. She's seeking the DFL endorsement.
Meanwhile, Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono, announced that she's going to run for an open Senate seat that's being vacated by Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista. Doepke says the district includes many of the areas that she represented during her time in the Minnesota House and as a member of the Wayzata School Board. She said she has the experience needed to represent the district. She said she sits on the House Taxes Committee, was a member of the school board, was endorsed by Conservation Minnesota and is a member of the Twin West Chamber of Commerce.
"Business, taxes and the environment are the three key things in that district that are important to may folks," Doepke said. "And I've got it all."
Rep. Steve Smith, R-Mound, has also reportedly expressed interest in running for the seat. I wasn't able to speak with him about his decision.
Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo, also announced today that he's running in an open Senate seat in the northwest suburbs and exurbs. The new district includes Buffalo, Rockford, Delano, Monticello and Annandale.
"It has been an honor to serve Wright County in the Minnesota House," Anderson said in a statement. "I will bring that same principled voice to the Minnesota Senate."
Rep. Kent Eken decided that he's going to run a Senate seat that's being vacated by Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, instead of running for re-election in the Minnesota House. Eken was paired with Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth. Eken said that he'll continue to stress issues like agriculture, jobs and property taxes as he campaigns. He said he'll just have to campaign in twice the area.
"In no way do I see this as a slam dunk," Eken said. This is a district that you're going to have to work hard in to win in."
Eken and Marquart announced earlier this week that they would not run against each other. Marquart said he's running for the House seat.
Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, said he's also running for an open Senate seat in western Minnesota. Westrom said he considers the senate run as a new opportunity.
"This district is a big part of western Minnesota which I'm in the center of," Westrom said. "There are eight counties in this district. There are 87 in the state so this district is about 10 percent of the state."
Scott Dutcher, a member of the Republican Party of Minnesota's executive committee, announced that he's running for the seat being vacated by Westrom.
State Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, announced this morning that she's running for Congress against DFL Rep. Collin Peterson.
"Like many of my neighbors, I've grown increasingly frustrated with Washington politicians who continually fail to clean up the mess they've created with their mountains of wasteful spending," Hoffman said in a news release. "Collin Peterson has simply been in Washington too long and has lost touch with his Minnesota values. I look forward to the coming campaign and building a winning coalition of Minnesotans who want to see fiscal responsibility return to our nation's capitol."
Hoffman made the announcement in the same week that redistricting forced into a pairing with Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria.
Hoffman is in her first-term in the Minnesota Senate. Her campaign said she's received a 100% rating from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and a "Best Friend of the Taxpayer" award from the Taxpayer's League of Minnesota for her work in the state Senate.
The Senate Ethics Committee has also forced Hoffman to apologize for comments she wrote on Twitter about Sen. Barb Goodwin, DFL-Columbia Heights.
Hoffman will challenge Lee Byberg for the GOP endorsement. The winner will face Peterson in the general election. Republicans have been focusing on the 7th District because the voters tend to vote for Republicans. Peterson, however, has been the exception to that rule. He's the leading Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee and has been active in delivering federal aid to flood stricken communities in northwestern Minnesota.
There has been more fallout among incumbents who were recently paired in the same districts as a result of redistricting.
The biggest question is what GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean intends to do. Dean has been paired with Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake. McFarlane told MPR News that she's not sure whether she's going to run again.
Dean said he too was undecided about his political future.
"I certainly hope to be," when asked if he want to come back to the Minnesota House.
Dean later declined to answer whether he'll challenge McFarlane or move into a new legislative district.
"I haven't talked to Carol," Dean said. "It would be inappropriate for me to say anything publicly."
When pressed about whether he intends to challenge McFarlane, Dean said "I haven't made any decisions."
Dean wasn't the only one trying to make up his mind. Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, said he hasn't decided whether he intends to run for re-election. He said he needs to talk with Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, who is now in the same district.
Koenen said he hopes to run for re-election but doesn't want to be in an endorsement battle with Falk.
"It's my intention that Rep. Falk and I work this out to a mutual agreement," Koenen said. He said one option is for one of them to challenge Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, but they both prefer to stay in the House. Koenen says he'd like to make a decision quickly.
Meanwhile, two Republicans paired in southern Minnesota say they'll leave the decision up to the delegates. Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake, and Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen R-Glencoe, were paired in House District 18B.
"This is one that neither Ron or I would seek out, but it's what we have to accept," Gruenhagen said.
Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, said he's decided to seek the GOP endorsement even though he was paired with Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Shafer.
"I'll be running," Dettmer said. "My wife and I have already decided that we're going to run for office and we're going to ask for the endorsement."
Barrett said he hasn't made a decision. There is an open seat roughly a mile from his home.
In the Minnesota Senate, Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo, says he's still trying to decide what to do. Lillie is paired with Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake. Lillie said it's possible that he'll move into an open seat in Woodbury.
"There is a possibility of running in that district," Lillie said. "It is a home base for us. My wife is the medical director at the hospital there."
Lillie also said he could run for Congress against DFL Rep. Betty McCollum. Vandeveer was unavailable to comment.
Two Republicans paired in a west Central Minnesota Senate District say they hope to decide about their political future within the next day. Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, and Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, have been paired. Both said they hope to announce some sort of plan by Friday.
Rep. Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada, hasn't been paired with an incumbent, but she says she's going to give up her House seat and run for an open seat in the Minnesota Senate. Scalze said redistricting left her in a district that has an open Senate seat and an open House seat. She said she felt that running for the Senate will help her deliver on her agenda.
"There is going to need some experience in that district," Scalze said. "I can give that to them"
One lawmaker who was paired in redistricting announced today that he's retiring. Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, said he'll leave the House after seven terms. Buesgens moved from his home in Jordan and now lives in Savage. That means he was paired with Rep. Pam Myhra, R-Burnsville.
Buesgens said he was proud of his work on K-12 issues and his ability to slow down or defeat legislation he disliked. He was often the only no vote on bills
"If people are looking for a laundry list of new laws that they put in the statute books as their measure of success then I'm pretty unsuccessful," Buesgens said. "But if you're looking for someone who would stand up and champion liberty and freedom then I think I've been very successful for that."
Buesgens said he has no intention of running for office again.
There will also be an endorsement battle in Senate District 31. Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, and Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-Ham Lake, were paired together. Both say they want to stay in the Senate.
Benson said she's committed to abiding by the decision of the Republican delegates. The first-term Republican said she'll stress her work on the estate tax, energy policies and health care
"You hope through steel on steel that the delegates pick the best candidate."
Jungbauer said he's looking forward to running in the district. He said he already represents a large portion of it and said he has the opportunity to represent family members that he didn't represent before.
"It was like a no brainer for me, Jungbauer said. "It's like I have to try to run."
Jungbauer initially said on The Late Debate radio that he would run in a primary if he didn't win the endorsement. But he backed off of those comments on Thursday.
"There is no way on this earth that I will walk out of a normal, fair endorsement convention where somebody says to me 'Jungbauer, you're not our guy' and I would go ahead."
Jungbauer predicted that the upcoming convention will be a "tough endorsement fight."
Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, announced that she's also leaving her House District to run for an open seat in the Minnesota Senate. Kiffmeyer, who also served as Minnesota Secretary of State, said she'll continue to focus on the same issue in the Legislature but will be representing a larger district.
"I'll work on the same issues but I'll represent a larger distrit than I would as a House member," Kiffmeyer said. "Especially with a brand new district, I'll be able to give some experienced leadership to both sides of the district."
Kiffmeyer also said making a quick decision will allow Republicans to run for the two other open seats in the district.
Here's a list of the lawmakers who have announced their retirements so far:
Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan
Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville
Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail
Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo
Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls
Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon
Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista
48 of the 201 incumbents in the Minnesota Legislature have been paired together under the new redistricting plan. Some have quickly made decisions about their political futures. Others are taking time to ponder their options. Here's a look at where things stand among the members who were paired:
Senate District 5
Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, says he's running for reelection. He's paired with Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids. Saxhaug told the Duluth News Tribune that he'll run in November.
Senate District 8
Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, told MPR News earlier this week that he intends to run again. He's paired with Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas. Hoffman said she's not sure whether she's running for reelection.
Update: Ingebrigtsen and Hoffman both say they'll make a decision by Friday night.
Senate District 17
Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, is expected to
run unopposed not face an incumbent since Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, is not expected to run for reelection.
Senate District 23
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, says she intends to run for reelection.
"That's my district and I worked very hard," Rosen said. "I ran unopposed last time and I think I have good standing there. I did some good things for that district."
Rosen has been paired with Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake. He said he'll speak with his family and supporters before making a decision. DeKruif, however, said he won't move into another district. If he runs he'll run against Rosen.
"If I get the nod from everybody that I should do this and then in my guy I feel right then I'll go," he said.
Senate District 31
Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, said she's talking with supporters about her political future. She was paired with Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, who said he's running. Jungbauer told Late Debate Radio on Tuesday night that he will run in a primary.
Senate District 39
Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo and Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake have been paired. I haven't caught up with either of them yet. Lillie told the Woodbury Patch that he's keeping his options open. They include moving to Woodbury or a possible run for Congress against Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL-MN.
Senate District 61
Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis, sent out an e-mail saying he's thinking about running for an open Senate seat instead of challenging Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis. Dibble is running in the district.
Senate District 66
Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, and Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights, both say they want to run again but want to talk about it first. Marty said he doesn't want a nasty endorsement battle.
"I would like to run again and she would like to run again too," Marty said. "That's the issue. We don't have that choice. We cannot both run for Senate in the same district."
McGuire said she probably won't make a decision until next week at the earliest, and she plans to discuss the situation with Marty.
"We, on policy issues, are very similar. So, it's hard, because I want to see John there and I want to see me there. I don't want to see either of us leave the Senate," she said.
House District 4B
Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, and Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, say they won't run against each other.
"We're good friends and we're going to work this out in a way that works out best for the both of us," Eken said.
The two say they'll decide within a week. Eken and Marquart both said it's possible that one of them runs for a Minnesota Senate that is being vacated by Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, who is retiring.
"Kent and I have some options that others don't," Marquart said. "That's in our favor."
Marquart was careful to note that he has stated publicly that he would like to stay in the House which makes it likely that Eken could run for the Senate seat. He was meeting privately with former DFL Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe before he talked with MPR News.
House District 5A
This district pairs Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, with Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker. Both are expected to run for reelection. I didn't catch up with Howes yet but Persell said he's confident considering he currently represents a large portion of the new district.
"You look at the map and it looks like my district," Persell said. "I have a comfort level with that so if you campaign hard on the issues. Nothing has changed for me."
House District 5B
Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township, says he's running. He's paired against Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick, R-Deer River, told the Duluth News Tribune that she's running again.
House District 11B
Rep. Roger Crawford, R-Mora, has been paired with Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson. I didn't catch up with either of them today.
House District 17A
Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, and Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, have been paired. I didn't catch up with either of them today. Neither returned calls to the West Central Tribune on Tuesday. One idea floated is that one of the candidates could challenge GOP Sen. Joe Gimse.
Update: Falk didn't commit to whether he would run for reelection. He said he needs to discuss it with Koenen but hasn't scheduled a meeting yet. Koenen hasn't called me back yet.
House District 18B
Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake, says he intends to come back to the Legislature.
"Absolutely," Shimanski said when asked if he's running again. "It will be up to our delegates to vote on our records."
Shimanski was paired with Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe. Gruenhagen wouldn't say what he intends to do.
"We're just taking a couple of days to let the dust settle on it," Gruenhagen said. "I'm just taking it a couple of days to think it through."
House District 23B
Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Nelson Township, has been paired with Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder. Cornish told The Mankato Free Press that he's running for reelection.
Torkelson said he intends to run for office but wouldn't give more specifics.
"I'm committed to coming back here," Torkelson said.
His options include challenging Cornish or running in an open district that includes a large portion of his current seat.
House District 35B
Rep. Branden Peterson, R-Andover, says he'll run for an open state Senate seat instead of challenging Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover. Peterson said the growing population in their area made it likely that there could be another seat in that district. He said he and Scott discussed it prior to the maps coming out this week.
"We kind of already knew what our approach was going to be," Peterson said. "That's why you saw my announcement so quickly."
Scott is running for reelection.
House District 38B
Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake, has been paired with House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood. McFarlane told MPR News on Tuesday that she's still weighing her options. Dean wasn't available to comment on Wednesday.
House District 39A
Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, and Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Shafer, have been paired together. I didn't catch up with them yet.
House District 41A
Rep. Tom Tilberry, DFL-Fridley, says he intends to run for reelection.
"I'm forging ahead as if nothing is different," Tilberry said. "I'm planning on going to an endorsing convention."
Tilberry was paired with Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton. Knuth says she hasn't decided what she's going to do. She said she's going to talk with a lot of people before she decides.
"Redistricting is a time where people reassess their personal futures," Knuth said. "But I would like to do that in the context of my community and my state."
House District 56A
This one wasn't on the initial incumbent pairings because the court put in an old address for Rep. Mark Buesgens. Buesgens now lives in Savage and has been paired with Rep. Pam Myrha, R-Burnsville. I didn't catch up with either of them yet.
The Jordan Independent is reporting that Buesgens is retiring.
House District 61A
Both Rep. Marion Greene, DFL-Minneapolis, and Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, say they will seek their party's endorsement.
"We both wish it weren't this way," Greene said. "But it is what it is and it's about continuing our work here. It's not about any strife between us. He and I continue to get along."
Greene said she's just getting going as a lawmaker and has a lot more to do. Hornstein said he'll emphasize his experience to delegates.
"I have lived in the two areas for 23 years," Hornstein said. "I have represented the area on the Met Council and, of course, in the Legislature for ten years."
House District 63B
Rep. Linda Slocum, DFL-Richfield, says she intends to move from her current district into an open seat in Richfield. She said she was looking to downsize from her family home now that her children are older and moved out of the house. She said the open seat in 50A includes roughly half of her current district.
"I have been looking at houses while waiting for the map to drop," Slocum said. "It's mostly the same district in 50A." Slocum joked the mayor of Richfield offered her a room in
his her home if she doesn't close on a place by May 1st.
Slocum was paired with Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis.
House District 66A
Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, is running for reelection. She has been paired with Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville. Greiling announced her retirement before the new maps were released.(7 Comments)
The panel charged with drawing the state's new political boundaries made few changes to the new Congressional map. The plan pairs DFL Rep. Betty McCollum with GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and creates an open seat in Minnesota's 6th District. Every other incumbent is protected. The big question is whether Bachmann decides to run in the 4th District or in the 6th District.
Bachmann has a round of interviews scheduled this afternoon to respond to the new maps.
Bachmann's staffers tell MPR News that Bachmann has decided to run in the new 6th District and not take her chances in the 4th District. They note that she's not required to live in the district and didn't say whether she'll move into the new 6th District.
Will be updated:
NOTE: This story was updated with new vote totals.
Former DFL Congressman Rick Nolan won a straw poll of DFL caucus-goers in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.
Districts are still reporting results, but Nolan has so far picked up 1531 votes. Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson received 991 votes. Former state Sen. Tarryl Clark received 406 votes. At least 262 voters said they were uncommitted.
I'll update with final results when they come in
(Itasca County and five precincts in Chisago County are still out). (All but roughly six precincts have reported)
"If the straw poll is any indication, and I believe it is, we are on the road to the endorsement and to victory in November," Nolan said in a statement.
The three DFL candidates are vying to win the DFL nomination and challenge GOP incumbent Rep. Chip Cravaack.
Nolan is the only candidate who says he will abide by the endorsement. Anderson hasn't said whether he'll abide by the endorsement, and Clark, who lost her first bid for Congress to GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, said she'll abide by the endorsement but only if the process is "fair."
Though it appears she will take third place in the DFL's straw poll, Clark has raised more money than the other Democrats. In this cycle, she raised $530,000 and has $275,000 in the bank. Nolan raised $125,000 thousand, and has $35,000 in the bank. Anderson raised $74,000 for the cycle and has $13,000 thousand in the bank.
Redistricting is complicating the DFL endorsement process. A five-judge panel has been tasked with releasing a set of congressional and legislative boundaries as a result of the once-a-decade redistricting process, and the new map could change the makeup of the race.
Here's Nolan's statement:
Our campaign made a strong statement last night with a convincing win. Our message is obviously resonating because people want to matter again in Washington, and they know I will fight for them everyday. That's why people across northern Minnesota are embracing our campaign and giving us the clear momentum in this race.
As DFL'ers, we're uniting on the issues. We are determined to end wars of choice, establish universal single payer health care, protect Medicare and Social Security, re-invest in infrastructure and rebuild our economy to generate the good paying jobs we need in northern Minnesota and across the country.
For those things to happen, we now need to unite behind one Congressional candidate to defeat Chip Cravaack and take back the 8th for progressive values. If the straw poll is any indication, and I believe it is, we are on the road to the endorsement and to victory in November.
Moving forward, I am determined to unite our party and marshal the resources we're going to need to defeat Mr. Cravaack and make working families, seniors, students, small businesses and all of us in the 99 percent matter again in Washington.
Clark issued this statement after the results:
"Yesterday's caucuses marks the beginning of the election process, much like the coin flip at Sunday's Super Bowl. We have a long way to go, and I'm excited about all the volunteers and grassroots donors that are joining the campaign every day. The stakes are too high to let "politics as usual" determine the fate of Minnesota and our country. We need real leadership in Washington, leaders who will not rest until the priorities of Minnesota families are put before Wall Street and big corporations. We need someone with a track record of service to our community, and the energy and commitment to stand strong in these tough times."
Here's a statement from Anderson:
"We are very pleased with the results from last night's straw poll. With district lines still unclear, we concentrated our efforts on the heart of the current Eighth District, and our efforts were rewarded with overwhelming support in Duluth and on the Iron Range. We won St. Louis County, including Duluth, Cloquet, Chisholm, Virginia, and Aurora by two to one margins. Despite being heavily outspent, the results clearly show that the momentum is on our side. We remain confident that once we finally know what the district will look like, our message of progressive homegrown leadership will see us through to a November face off with Rep. Cravaack."(1 Comments)
One interesting part of the legal battle over redrawing the state's political boundaries is who is paying the attorneys in the case. A five judge panel has oral arguments over the proposed maps on Jan. 4. The court appointed panel is likely to determine the makeup of the state's political boundaries for Minnesota's 8 congressional districts and the 201 legislative districts. The state has to redraw the state's political boundaries once every ten years to ensure that each citizen is guaranteed equal representation under the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of Minnesota.
Attorneys representing the Republicans and the Democrats have been working to influence the court to adopt their proposed set of maps and redistricting criteria. MPR News has already reported that the public may never know who is paying the bulk of the legal fees in the battle. It's also possible that the high-profile attorneys in the case could receive taxpayer money for their efforts.
Arguments are being made before the panel to declare the state's current political boundaries unconstitutional because the boundaries don't provide equal representation under the U.S. Constitution. If the court declares the boundaries unconstitutional, federal law could allow the court to order "a reasonable attorney's fees as part of the costs" under the Civil Rights Act. (Note: It shouldn't come as a surprise that the boundaries don't meet constitutional muster since the entire point of redistricting is resetting the boundaries after the once-a-decade census is taken).
There is some precedent for the court to award fees to attorneys involved in the redistricting battle. In 2002, the redistricting panel at the time ordered the state of Minnesota to pay $368,430 to the four sets of attorneys in the case. The panel relied on the argument that the all of the parties "prevailed" in the case and were awarded the funds. The panel put forward a set of maps that relied on input from all of the parties involved.
One key question for the current five-judge panel is how they will interpret which party prevails in the case. It's unlikely that the panel will adopt a set of maps that are identical to the proposals put forward by the parties. If history is a guide, the court will draw a new set of boundaries that relies on input from all of the parties involved. If that's the case, all of the parties could be eligible for attorneys fees from the state's treasury.
To date, the five-judge panel tasked with drawing the state's political boundaries has been reluctant to address the issue. The court heard arguments on the matter in October but declined to act at the time. Presiding Judge Wilhelmina Wright issued an order Friday saying she will not allow arguments on the constitutionality of the current boundaries at its hearing on Jan. 4.
One group that could prevent taxpayer money from being spent on attorney's fees is Gov. Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature. The two sides have until Feb. 21 to agree on a set of maps. If that happens, the court won't have to step in and take over the process. Gov. Dayton and GOP legislators have said, however, that it's unlikely they will reach an agreement.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 1189 are backing Democrat Rick Nolan's campaign for Congress.
"This is a very important endorsement for our union. The assault on working families has never been more aggressive," UFCW President Don Seaquist said in a statement. "We need more than someone who just supports our fight for collective bargaining rights, fair wages, and job creation. We need a champion and an effective leader at this critical hour. Rick is that person!"
Nolan, who is running in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District said he's thrilled by the endorsement.
"This endorsement is another strong sign that our campaign is resonating with working families in the 8th District and beyond," Nolan said in a fundraising letter to supporters."
Nolan is vying for the DFL endorsement against former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson and Daniel Fanning.
Whoever wins the DFL nomination is likely to square off against Republican Chip Cravaack but it depends on how the state's political boundaries are redrawn as a result of redistricting.
Allen Quist is making another run for Congress in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. He is scheduled to formally announce his intentions on December 1, according to a letter he sent to GOP activists. The letter, obtained by MPR News, has a banner that says "Allen Quist for Congress, 'Restoring the American Dream."
"I am announcing to you that I will become a candidate for First District Congress," Quist's letter to activists said. "I intend to announce on December 1."
The letter said Quist will be making campaign stops in Winona, Rochester, Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna on Thursday. He'll campaign in Mankato, New Ulm, Fairmont and Worthington on Friday. Quist's wife, Julie Quist, declined to answer questions about the letter when contacted by MPR News.
"Allen will be announcing a decision next Thursday, December 1st, in Winona at 8:00 am," Julie Quist wrote in an e-mail "He won't be doing any interviews before that time."
In his letter, Quist said he's making another run for Congress because "grassroots Republicans have encouraged him to run." He also said the country needed "leaders who understand that our country is being taken over a cliff."
Quist lost the GOP endorsement in 2010 to Randy Demmer. He also made two unsuccessful runs for governor in 1994 and 1998. He won the GOP endorsement for governor in 1994 but lost in the primary to incumbent Gov. Arne Carlson. Quist also served in the Minnesota House from 1983 until he retired in 1989.
Quist's decision means there will be an endorsement battle to see who will be the party's eventual nominee. Another Republican, state Sen. Mike Parry of Waseca, is also running.
The eventual GOP nominee is expected to square off with DFL Rep. Tim Walz. Walz was first elected in 2006.
The big question mark is how the court draws the new political boundaries for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. The current district extends across the southern border from South Dakota to Wisconsin. It includes Rochester, Worthington, Mankato, Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna and Winona.
A court appointed panel will release the new political boundaries on Feb. 21 if Gov. Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature can't reach agreement before then. The process known as redistricting requires every district to be equal population based on the once a decade population count by the U.S. Census.
(MPR's Rupa Shenoy contributed to this report)
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is taking a potential match-up with GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann seriously.
In a fundraising e-mail to supporters, McCollum complained about the DFL redistricting plan but also started laying the groundwork for what could be a contentious and expensive race.
"I don't know what DFL Party leadership and their attorneys were thinking - they didn't consult with me.
The congressional redistricting map submitted by the DFL to the state Supreme Court's "Special Redistricting Panel" pits Minnesota's two congresswomen against one another: Michele Bachmann against me."
The DFL Party proposed a map that would pair McCollum and Bachmann in the same district. McCollum, who lives in St. Paul, currently represents a heavily Democratic district. Bachmann, from Stillwater, represents the GOP leaning 6th District.
McCollum, who was first elected to Congress in 2000, suggested a race against Bachmann will cost millions.
"I could be in for a re-election campaign that would require me to raise $4 million, $5 million, or even more to win if Rep. Bachmann is my opponent. Remember - in 2010 Bachmann spent $11.1 million to win re-election!"
It isn't certain whether McCollum will be paired with Bachmann. A special redistricting panel will release its set of maps on Feb. 21 if Gov. Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature can't agree before then. The GOP plan doesn't pair any incumbents.
Another uncertainty is whether Bachmann runs for reelection. The 6th District Republican is currently running for president and hasn't said whether she'll run for Congress if she fails to win the GOP nomination. In the e-mail, McCollum characterized Bachmann as the founder of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus and a "right-wing darling."
It isn't the first time McCollum has gone after Bachmann. She criticized Bachmann earlier this year at a fundraiser.(4 Comments)
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin says the party submitted a redistricting map to the courts late Friday that is in the best interest of the DFL Party and not what's best for the state's current elected officials. The proposal upset DFL Rep. Betty McCollum and DFL Rep. Collin Peterson, who both characterized the map as political. Martin said he understands their frustration, but he said the party put forward a proposal that serves the public interest and the best interest of the DFL Party.
"My job is to do what's in the interest of the party for the long-term and to make sure that we're putting forward a map that reflects the will of the court panel in terms of the criteria established as well as the public testimony," Martin told MPR News. "We want to do what's in the best interest of our elected officials and our stakeholders, but it's very tough to make everyone happy in this process and our job as a party and legally is to make sure that we're doing what's in the best interest of the party for the long-term."
Martin declined further comment about the criticism from McCollum and Peterson.
A five-member judicial panel tasked with creating a set of redistricting plans will now study the maps submitted by the state's political parties and other groups. The panel will use those proposals and review public testimony before it starts drawing the state's political boundaries. The judicial panel will take over the process on Feb. 21 if Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature fail to reach agreement on a set of maps.
Dayton, who vetoed the GOP plan during the 2011 session, said he didn't think the two sides would reach agreement. The state has to redraw Minnesota's eight congressional districts and 201 legislative districts to ensure equal population after the 2010 Census.(1 Comments)
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is scheduled to hold a book signing at the Mall of America on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
The Barnes and Noble store at the Mall of America says Bachmann will sign her book "Core of Conviction: My Story" at the Mall of America at 8am on Nov. 25. AP obtained an advanced copy of the book and wrote about it here.
Bachmann, who is seeking the GOP nomination for president, will be signing the book at a time when shoppers are ramping up their holiday purchases.
The book signing will be a rare Minnesota appearance for the 6th District Congresswoman. She has been spending a large part of her time campaigning for president in Iowa and South Carolina. Bachmann has not said whether she intends to run for reelection if she fails to win the GOP nomination for president.
DFL legislative plan pairs 35 House members, 13 Senate members
The DFL Party's proposed redistricting plan pairs 35 incumbents and creates 18 open seats in the Minnesota House. It also pairs 13 incumbents and creates three open seats in the Minnesota Senate. Here's the breakdown of the match-ups in the House and the Senate (the information was confirmed by both Republican and DFL sources).
Here are the House match-ups:
Carolyn McElfatrick (GOP)
DFLer Tom Anzelc (DFL)
Larry Howes (GOP)
John Persell (DFL)
Torry Westrom (GOP)
Bud Nornes (GOP)
Paul Anderson (GOP)
Mary Franson (GOP)
Sondra Erickson (GOP)
Roger Crawford (GOP)
Larry Hosch (DFL)
Steve Gottwalt (GOP)
Dean Urdahl (GOP)
Ron Shimanski (GOP)
Glenn Gruenhagen (GOP)
Ernie Leidiger (GOP)
Paul Torkelson (GOP)
Tony Cornish (GOP)
Tim Kelly (GOP)
Steve Drazkowski (GOP)
Kelby Woodard (GOP)
Mark Buesgens (GOP)
Michael Beard (GOP)
Jennifer Loon (GOP)
Branden Peterson (GOP)
Tom Hackbarth (GOP)
Peggy Scott (GOP)
Bob Dettmer (GOP)
Bob Barrett (GOP)
Tim Sanders (GOP)
Linda Runbeck (GOP)
Bev Scalze (DFL)
Carol McFarlane (GOP)
60B (Note - Downey moved into a new home so there's disagreement as to whether he would face Hornstein or DFL Rep. Steve Simon)
Keith Downey (GOP)
Frank Hornstein (DFL) or Simon (DFL)
Here's the breakdown from the Minnesota Senate:
John J. Carlson (GOP)
Tom Saxhaug (DFL)
Gary Kubly (DFL)
Gary Dahms (GOP)
Al DeKruif (GOP)
Mike Parry (GOP)
(Note: Parry is running for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District)
David Hann (GOP)
Geoff Michel (GOP)
Benjamin Kruse (GOP)
Chris Eaton (DFL)
Michelle Benson (GOP)
Roger Chamberlain (GOP)
Michael Jungbauer (GOP)
Here's the statewide map:
Martin Intervenors Legislative_Statewide -2
Here's the Metro map:
Martin Intervenors Legislative_Metro-4
Here's the Minneapolis/St. Paul map:
Martin Intervenors Leg Mpls-StPaul
MPR News is still trying to access the DFL Party's proposed redistricting plans - but one of the state's Congressional members is not pleased with the map. DFL Rep. Betty McCollum's chief of staff Bill Harper issued a statement blasting DFL Party Chair Ken Martin and the members of the DFL Party's legal team.
"The DFL Chair and his high paid lawyers have proposed a congressional map to the redistricting panel that is hyper-partisan and bizarre. Their plan ignores the judge's redistricting criteria and it insults established communities of interest, particularly in the East Metro. Congresswoman McCollum has faith in the judges on the panel to draw fair political boundaries that will serve the best interests of all Minnesotans."
MPR News could not reach Harper to comment on why he's upset with the DFL map. A call to McCollum's spokeswoman has also not been returned.
One factor could be that McCollum would end up in the same district as GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann if the DFL map is approved by the court. The DFL map pairs McCollum and Bachmann.
MPR News viewed one proposed map by DFLers that paired the two together. A person with knowledge of that map said that the DFL map would submit that proposed map to the courts.
Will be updated...
Here's the proposed map:6 Comments)
With MPR's Rupa Shenoy...
The five-member panel charged with redrawing the state's political boundaries issued an order today detailing the criteria they will use to draw those maps.
For the first time, the panel said the metropolitan area should be regarded as 11 counties, not seven. As a result more exurban counties could be tied into districts in suburban and urban areas.
That was an approach Republicans favored, said Elizabeth Brama who represents the Republican party on redistricting. She said it's unclear what effect the change will have.
"I don't think it's a question of one party or the other benefiting," Brama said. "I think it's more a question of just fairly representing where the people in the state of Minnesota live and how they organize themselves."
Brama said the council's decision may reflect how people in ex-urban counties formerly considered rural may now see themselves as more urban.
DFL party chair Ken Martin wasn't surprised by those changes.
"I think it's pretty pro forma and certainly establishes a lot of the same principles that were in place ten years ago," Martin said. "Again, without discussing this further with my team and being able to look at it more in detail, I can't comment any more than that. But on the surface I think it's fine. I don't think it give any party an advantage over another."
The court order also suggests that it will consider communities of interest to include "social, geographic, political, cultural, ethnic, economic or other interests." Attorneys for the DFL Party were arguing that those communities of interest are critical to redrawing the lines.
The five-member panel is tasked with creating a set of maps for the state's eight congressional districts and 201 legislative districts if Gov. Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature can't agree on a map. Dayton vetoed a GOP plan earlier this year and he suggested it's unlikely an agreement can be reached before the Feb. 21 deadline. The court will take over the process at that time.
You can read the full order here.
A five-judge panel that's likely to end up drawing the state's political boundaries heard arguments Wednesday about the best way to do it.
Attorneys for the political parties made their case to the panel Wednesday. Republicans say the court should make population changes its top priority. Democrats argued the court should give communities of interest -- like minority populations -- equal weight.
Attorney Eric Magnuson, who is representing the Republican Party, said DFL attorneys are going too far with their recommendation.
"What he's really proposing is that you have subjective and kind of nebulous criteria so that they can maybe fashion things a little bit more the way they want them," Magnuson said. "In our view, maybe those are arguments you can make to the Legislature but when you're arguing to the court, you have to follow the constitution and the statute."
But Marc Elias, an attorney representing Democrats, said the court needs to also consider communities. He said drawing the lines on population alone hurts certain communities such as minorities.
"It's not enough to stop there because if life were that simple we wouldn't be here," Elias said. "If it was just a mechanical process of taking these higher level criteria and applying them mechanically then indeed we wouldn't need hearings."
The parties have to submit their proposed maps to the court by November 18th. The court will take over the process if Governor Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature can't reach an agreement on the new congressional and legislative districts by February 21st.
A reporter asked Dayton to give odds on whether he can reach agreement with the Legislature on a map before the deadline.
"Somewhere between the Vikings winning the division and the Vikings winning the Super Bowl," Dayton said. "But there's always hope."
You can listen to the full redistricting hearing here: Listen
Pool Photo provided by the Star Tribune's Glen Stubbe.
Tom Emmer, the GOP nominee for governor in 2010, is scheduled to emcee an event for Texas Congressman Ron Paul in November. Paul is scheduled to speak at the St. Cloud Civic Center on Nov. 5. A news release from Paul's campaign for president said Emmer and fellow KTLK radio host Bob Davis will emcee the event. Paul is scheduled to give a speech and will participate in what the campaign is saying will be the "celebratory launch" of his Minnesota state operations.
Emmer couldn't be reached to comment on whether his appearance should be considered an endorsement. He's considered a possible candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District if GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann either wins the GOP nomination for president or decides against making another run for Congress. Bachmann campaigned heavily for Emmer in 2010. He lost his bid for governor to Democrat Mark Dayton.
The shape of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District has yet to be determined. Gov. Dayton and the Legislature are required to come up with a plan to redraw the state's political boundaries. A court appointed panel will draw the lines if the two sides can't reach agreement by Feb. 21.(3 Comments)
Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, is making another round of calls to her DFL counterparts in the hope of getting ideas on how the state's legislative and congressional boundaries should be drawn. Anderson, who chairs the House Redistricting Committee, sent letters to the 62 Democrats in the Minnesota House asking for advice on the maps.
Gov. Dayton vetoed the GOP redistricting plan in May. Since then, most observers predicted that a court appointed panel will have to draw the maps. But Anderson says she's still hoping the Legislature can pass a map that Dayton can sign.
"It may not be an entirely a new map, it may be adjustments to the map we have currently," Anderson said. "I'm just looking to try to come up with a plan that everybody can get behind."
Anderson admits that there may not be more that she can do to get a new set of maps signed into law but said she wants to "try everything" before the deadline to enact a new set of maps passes.
Democrats have criticized the way Republicans designed the maps and released them to the public. They say the public had no time to view and comment on the proposed maps before they started moving through the committee process. Democrats say public hearings should have been held. Anderson and others argue that the committee held 13 public hearings in several parts of the state before Republicans designed the maps.
Anderson and others also say it's Democrats who have not released a plan for the public to view. DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said they will release a map after the five-member judicial panel finishes taking public testimony.
Meanwhile, the court has issued another set of deadlines regarding redistricting. The court will hear oral arguments on Oct. 26 on what criteria should used to design the maps. The parties have to submit their motions to adopt redistricting plans by Nov. 19. Oral arguments on the plans will be on Jan. 4.
Gov. Dayton and the Legislature have until Feb. 21 to enact a new set of maps into law. The court will take over the process and draw the lines if no agreement is reached by then.(2 Comments)
The Minnesota Republican Party intends to keep the date for the precinct caucuses on Feb. 7. State law requires the caucuses to be held on that day but can be moved if the GOP and the DFL agree to change it. (Update: law requires public facilities to be made available to the parties that day. Parties can hold caucuses on other day but will have to pay for the expenses).
"As of right now we are scheduling for Feb. 7 and we have no plans to change that," Westover said.
Minnesota's precinct caucuses are scheduled to be held one day after Iowa's precinct caucuses. That date, however, has been put into doubt after Republicans in Florida voted to hold that state's primary on Jan. 31. That upset the early primary schedule set forth by the Republican National Committee that determined voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada will go first. The RNC has threatened to strip Florida from half of its delegates at the national convention if they continue with the move.
The reason Minnesota isn't in violation is because the precinct caucuses are nonbinding.
"We are kosher as far as the party rules go," Westover said. "Our delegates are not bound by the decisions that are not bound by the decisions made on Feb. 7."
The party usually holds a straw poll on caucus night which could help Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's bid to be the GOP nominee.
Kristen Sosanie, with the DFL Party, says they are also planning to hold the precinct caucuses on Feb. 7. She said they asked the Democratic National Committee to approve the move and are waiting for a reply.
One potential problem with the early caucus date is how it will impact the state's legislative races. It's likely that candidates for the Minnesota House and Senate (and Congress) won't know exactly where the boundaries of their districts are. That's because the court appointed panel on redistricting won't release its map until February 21. Candidates may be forced to organize for caucuses in precincts that they may not represent after the new lines are drawn.(1 Comments)
The State of Minnesota's Special Redistricting panel has scheduled eight public hearings across Minnesota to discuss the redistricting process. The hearings, which start on October 5, will be held in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Cloquet, Bemidji, Moorhead, St. Cloud and Mankato.
The judicial panel scheduled the hearings to gather input on the best way to draw the state's new political boundaries. The court will take over the process in February if Gov. Dayton and the GOP controlled Legislature fail to enact a set of maps into law.
The stakes are huge for politicians and political parties. The new lines will determine the state's eight congressional districts and 201 legislative districts. The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2010 Census data in March. The political boundaries have to be redrawn to ensure equal population in each legislative and congressional district.
One interesting note is that Rochester and other southeastern Minnesota cities are not included on the list.
You can read the order and find out where the hearings will be held here.
Minnesota's 8th Congressional District is about an hour's drive from Minneapolis, but that isn't stopping Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak from helping some of the DFL candidates looking to challenge GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack in 2012.
Rybak is scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson later this month. He also says he'll hold another event for former DFL Congressman Rick Nolan (who was elected to Congress in Minnesota's 6th District in 1974. 1976 and 1978).
"Jeff and Rick Nolan were both very active in my campaign for governor," Rybak said. "Both asked me to introduce them to some funders from the Cities where they are virtually unknown."
Rybak was careful to note that he won't be backing anyone in the race. He said Anderson, Nolan and former DFL state Sen. Tarryl Clark are all strong candidates.
"I think the people of the 8th should decide who should get picked, so I'm not going to jump into the race," Rybak said.
Democrats are optimistic that they can reclaim Minnesota's 8th District. Cravaack won an upset victory over DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010. One wild card in the potential race is the makeup of the district. Redistricting could dramatically change the state's congressional boundaries.
The League of Women Voters, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and other groups will hold a series of public meetings in hopes of drawing a new Minnesota political map. The first citizen meeting will be held Saturday afternoon at Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' offices at 1pm at 2314 University Avenue in St. Paul. Other meetings will be held across the state in coming weeks.
Input from the meetings will be used to propose several maps in September, says Laura Fredrick Wang, with the League of Woman Voters.
"These maps really define political power for the next ten years," Wang said. "The people who can tell you best what their community looks like, where people work in their community, where they go to school, where they live in their community and how they relate to each other are the people who live there. And if you don't get out and talk to those people and get a really broad range of input, it's really hard to capture a community."
Wang says the groups hope to submit one proposal to the state courts in October. A court-appointed panel will also hold hearings in October to get input on redistricting. The courts will draw the maps in late February if Gov. Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature can't agree on a map.
The political boundaries for Congress and the Legislature have to redrawn every ten years after the U.S. Census Bureau releases population data. So, the stakes for the new maps are huge because they will be a factor in determining the political makeup of the Minnesota Legislature and the state's congressional delegation for a decade.
Gov. Dayton vetoed a GOP redistricting plan in May because he said Republicans didn't gather enough citizen input about the proposal. He and the Democrats have not submitted a proposal of their own.
(Read more about the state's redistricting battle here)
The League of Women Voters' Yang says she hopes her plan will present the courts with a broader plan.
The commission, dubbed "Draw the Line Minnesota," will be represented by members who hold a wide range of political views.
The panel includes:
Bruce Corrie; Concordia University's Dean of College of Business and Organizational Leadership
Matthew Lewis, spokesman for the Independence Party of Minnesota
Anne Mason; a former spokeswoman for Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy and political director to GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen's Congressional campaign in 2008.
Kent Kaiser; a professor at Northwestern College who also served as spokesman when Republican Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer held office.
Elda Macias; a marketing director for Ameriprise Financial and former member of the DFL Latino Caucus
Three attorneys for Briggs and Morgan have filed as "attorneys of record" for eight citizens in a redistricting case. The attorneys; former MN Supreme Court Justice Eric Magnuson, Elizabeth Brama and Michael Wilhelm, all filed the paperwork this morning to say that they would represent the eight Republican citizens who have filed lawsuits both in federal and state courts.
The Republican Party of Minnesota is working with an independent group, "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting," on redistricting efforts.
Magnuson said he's working on behalf of the eight clients listed in the legal filings and is willing to work on the issue in both state and federal court.
"I will work on both of them with the exception that I can't appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court," Magnuson said. "But we have other attorneys in our office that can do that." Magnuson left his position on the Minnesota Supreme Court last June. The Minnesota Supreme Court is asking former justices to wait three years before they appear before the Minnesota Supreme Court.
One of the citizens being represented by Magnuson, Gregg Peppin, said a lot of the litigation work has been coordinated by the Minnesota Republican Party and "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting." He said the filing indicates that Briggs and Morgan will be working with attorney Tony Trimble on redistricting efforts for Republicans in Minnesota.
"They told me they were going to get a litigator and this confirms that," Peppin said about Magnuson's filing.
Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton confirmed that Briggs and Morgan has been hired by "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting" but said he or other members of the MNGOP have nothing to do with the hiring. He said former MNGOP Chair Chris Georgacus is heading "Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting."
The decision to hire Briggs and Morgan sets up another battle of legal heavyweights. Magnuson, a former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice appointed by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, represented the Minnesota Republican Party and Republican Tom Emmer in the 2010 gubernatorial recount.
Democrats have hired Washington D.C. attorney Marc Elias and Minneapolis attorney David Lillehaug to head up the DFL Party's redistricting efforts in court. Elias represented Gov. Mark Dayton in the 2010 gubernatorial recount and Sen. Al Franken in the 2008 U.S. Senate recount.
The Minnesota DFL Party has also been working with the outside group, Democratic National Redistricting Trust, on its legal efforts. That group is also being represented by Elias.
One of the reasons independent groups, and not state parties, are working on redistricting efforts is to avoid campaign contribution limits and disclosure laws. The McCain/Feingold law forbids parties from raising unlimited amounts of soft money to pay for political activity and redistricting efforts. Independent groups can raise soft money.
Republicans and Democrats in Minnesota have been lining up for a lengthy and costly court battle over how the state's political boundaries should be drawn. The courts are being asked to prepare for the possibility that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders won't reach agreement on a redistricting plan. Dayton vetoed the GOP-backed plan last month. The courts will take over the process if an agreement isn't reached by February 21.
A federal judge held a hearing last week on a request by several Democrats to have federal court oversee the drawing of the state's political maps. Republican attorneys have argued that redistricting matters must move through state court first.
Posted at 9:19 AM on June 2, 2011
by Elizabeth Dunbar
Filed under: Redistricting
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea has appointed a panel of five judges to begin hearing challenges over the process to redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries using 2010 census data.
You can read the full story here.
The five-judge panel will draw the lines if DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders can't reach an agreement on a plan by Feb. 21.
Gildea appointed Wilhelmina Wright as the presiding judge. Judges Ivy Bernhardson, James Florey, Edward Lynch and John Rodenberg were also named to the panel.
The group was appointed by several former governors. Here are the judges on the panel and which governor appointed them.
Wilhelmina Wright was appointed by Gov. Jesse Ventura (Independence Party)
Ivy Bernhardson was appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Republican)
James Florey was appointed by Gov. Arne Carlson (Republican)
Edward Lynch was appointed by Gov. Rudy Perpich (DFL)
John Rodenberg was appointed by Gov. Ventura (IP)
WASHINGTON - After less than two weeks of legislating since its last break, the House of Representatives is once again out for recess.
Freshman Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack will be back in the 8th District (although if the state GOP has its way, he'll soon be moved into far friendlier territory in a reconfigured 7th District) holding events, including three town halls.
Here are the details for those who live in the district and want to see Cravaack in person:
Baxter/Brainerd Town Hall
Monday, May 16, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express
15739 Audubon Way (Hwy 371 North)
Baxter, MN 56425
Mountain Iron/Virginia Town Hall
Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
City of Mountain Iron Community Center
8586 Enterprise Dr. So.
Mountain Iron, MN
Cambridge Town Hall
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Cambridge Campus (Lecture Hall - Room G202)
300 Spirit River Drive South
Cambridge, MN 55008
As the Minnesota House considers the congressional redistricting bill put forward by Republicans, one of the plan's targets expressed ease with the redistricting process.
"Whatever comes, comes," said DFL Rep. Tim Walz, whose southern Minnesota district could see an influx of thousands of Republican-leaning voters under the House plan.
"I just trust the integrity of the system," Walz said. "I don't put a lot of stock [in the GOP plan] because it won't be the end result."
Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will veto any redistricting bill that lacks bipartisan support and many observers expect courts to ultimately draw the district boundaries.
The Congressional redistricting plan released by state House Republicans today flips DFL Congressman Collin Peterson from the 7th District to the 8th, which is currently held by freshman Republican Chip Cravaack.
Peterson would go from representing northwestern Minnesota to representing the entire northern part of the state - including the Iron Range and Duluth.
"It doesn't make any sense," Peterson told MPR News, arguing that the two regions are very different and that Republicans have drawn a highly partisan map.
While Cravaack would pick up large portions of friendly territory in what's currently GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's district, fellow DFL Congressman Tim Walz would also acquire many Republican voters.
"You know this is strictly to get Cravaack re-elected and to try to make Walz vulnerable, that's what the whole thing is about," Peterson said.
Republicans in the state House say the plan is fair and based on population shifts in the 2010 census.
"Minnesota is changing," said Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth. "Our population is changing, how we do business in the state, our economy. All of that is changing, and I think this map is reflective of those changes."
Peterson predicted that redistricting will ultimately be decided by the courts.(1 Comments)
Republicans in the Minnesota House released their plan to redraw the state's congressional lines. Minnesota is keeping eight seats but the 2010 Census is forcing them to redraw the political lines.
The map protects every incumbent in Minnesota's delegation but DFL Rep. Collin Peterson swaps the 7th District with GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack's 8th District.
The proposal for the 8th stretches from northwestern Minnesota to Minnesota's Arrowhead. It runs south into Carlton County and Clay County.
The proposal for the 7th also slices the state horizontally. It includes Wilkin County and stretches across to Pine County and south into Chisago and Big Stone counties.
The 6th District continues to stretch across the northern Twin Cities suburbs and east into Stillwater. That enables GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann to keep her seat. Bachmann, is considering a run for President, has not announced whether she'll make another run for Congress.
The proposal also keeps Minneapolis and St. Paul in separate districts.
I'm told Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are likely to adopt the same map. Gov. Dayton can either veto or approve the proposal. The courts will draw the lines if an agreement between Dayton and the Legislature can't be reached by February 21st.
I'll post more later.
Here's the statewide map and a map for each district
House GOP for Minnesota's Congressional districts
Tarryl Clark says she's planning a 2012 run against Republican freshman 8th District Congressman Chip Cravaack.
Clark, a former DFL state senator from St. Cloud, lost a bid to unseat Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in 2010.
That race was for the sixth district. Clark says she and her husband, Doug, bought a home in Duluth a few months ago. Asked if that makes her vulnerable to charges of moving for personal political gain Clark had this response:
"I have deep roots and connections and you know no one of us can be from every community," Clark said. "I'm certainly proud of central Minnesota and I love northeastern Minnesota and believe that honestly, this is not about me, it's about all of us coming together to create change."
When asked about the possibility that the congressional lines could be redrawn, Clark says it's too important to wait for the final map to be drawn.
Clark says she'll announce her bid in an email to supporters tomorrow.
Cravaack's spokesman didn't immediately return calls for comment.
Cravaack's spokesman said Cravaack "looks forward to engaging whoever the DFL endorses on the issues that matter to the people of the 8th District."
Update: Clark released this web video to discuss her run.(2 Comments)
Democrat Tarryl Clark told the Duluth News Tribune that she's moving to Duluth and will run for Congress in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District. Clark told the paper that she and her husband will buy a condo in Duluth and will spend a "good chunk" of her time there. Clark represented St. Cloud in the Minnesota Legislature.
The seat is currently held by GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack, a freshman Republican who is targeted by Democrats as a seat that they can win in 2012. The seat was held by Democrats for decades until Cravaack defeated DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010.
Clark, who lost a run for Congress against GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2010, is a solid fundraiser. She raised $5 million in that race.
The key question is whether Minnesota's 8th District lines stay the same. The 2010 Census requires Gov. Dayton and the Legislature to redraw the lines to ensure equal representation.
House Republicans will release their version of the Congressional maps on Monday. The courts will take over and draw the maps if the GOP controlled Legislature and Gov. Dayton can't agree to a set of lines by February 21st of next year.(6 Comments)
Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, released her plan to redraw the state's legislative boundaries. The U.S. Census Bureau released its 2010 Census data in March. Lawmakers are charged with taking that data and redrawing the political boundaries to ensure equal population in each legislative district.
Here's the quick glance (according to House DFL and House GOP sources).
20 House members will be redrawn into the same legislative district.
GOP Rep. Larry Howes and DFL Rep. John Persell (Bemidji area)
DFL Rep. Lyle Koenen and DFL Rep. Andrew Falk (Southwestern Minnesota)
GOP Rep. Paul Torkelson and GOP Rep. Bob Gunther (Southcentral Minnesota)
GOP Rep. Mike Benson and DFL Rep. Tina Liebling (Rochester)
GOP Rep. Joyce Peppin and DFL Rep. Denise Dittrich (Northwest suburbs)
DFL Rep. Carolyn Laine and DFL Rep. Tom Tilberry (Fridley and Columbia Heights area)
GOP Rep. Connie Doepke and DFL Rep. John Benson (West Metro)
DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein and DFL Rep. Marion Greene (Minneapolis)
DFL Rep. Alice Hausman and DFL Rep. John Lesch (St. Paul)
DFL Rep. Sheldon Johnson and DFL Rep. Nora Slawik (St. Paul and Maplewood)
There are also ten open seats. They are in Sherburne County, Coon Rapids, Blaine, Prior Lake, the Burnsville and Lakeville area, Plymouth, St. Michael and Otsego area, St. Paul, Wadena and Cross Lake area and Rochester.
Six state senators are paired together under the plan:
GOP Sen. Gary Dahms and DFL Sen. Gary Kubly (Southwestern Minnesota)
DFL Sen. Patricia Torres Ray and DFL Sen. Linda Berglin (Minneapolis)
DFL Sen. Scott Dibble and DFL Sen. Ken Kelash (Minneapolis)
There are three open Senate seats under the House plan. They are in Bloomington, Minneapolis and the Northfield and Faribault area.
Anderson characterized her propsal as a "fair plan" that is based on the population growth derived from the 2010 census. She says the population growth was eight times greater in GOP controlled districts than DFL controlled districts.
Anderson says she hopes the House Redistricting Committee will move the proposal out of committee tomorrow night.
The House would then have to pass the plan and reconcile it with a Senate plan that has not been released yet. If Gov. Dayton vetoes the maps, the courts will redraw the lines after February 21, 2012.
Anderson says she will release the redrawn congressional boundaries soon. She says the full House will vote on that plan before the end of the year.
Follow this link to see the maps. Here's a breakdown of which incumbents are paired together and where the open seats would be:
Here's the list of Senate incumbents.10 Comments)
Governor Mark Dayton this afternoon sent a letter to the House Republican redistricting lead, Rep. Sarah Anderson.
It was his RSVP for the Legislative process. The bottom line: "Let's see who else is going to the party." The governor's letter says the DFL and the public need to be involved. "To be open," it adds, "your process must provide for a plan to be posted on the Web before it is voted upon."
Here's the letter:
Minnesota will get a better sense of how the population has changed over the past 10 years when the U.S. Census Bureau releases new data tomorrow.
The Census Bureau says it has shipped Minnesota's 2010 Census data to Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders, and it will release the information this afternoon. The information will include the number of people living in Minnesota and exactly where in the state they live. State lawmakers and the governor will use the data to redraw the boundaries for the U.S. House districts and the state's legislative districts.
Minnesota will keep all eight of its Congressional seats, but the boundaries will have to be redrawn so that each district has an equal population. Minnesota's legislative districts will also be redrawn to account for population growth.
The GOP controlled Legislature is expected to present it to Governor Dayton later this year. The courts would likely get involved if he and lawmakers can't agree on a plan.
There are plenty of groups closely watching budget negotiations in Washington D.C. If an agreement isn't reached on a continuing budget resolution, the federal government will be forced to shut down on March 4th. Federal employees could be out of work until a resolution is found. Also, applications for passports and visas, national parks and payments to federal contractors would be affected.
One other major problem could be how U.S. Census data is distributed. Many states, including Minnesota, are waiting for specific population numbers to help guide how the political boundaries are drawn. The state has to redraw the political maps for Congress and the state Legislature every 10 years.
Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy says he expects to get the data sometime in the next two weeks. But he's worried that a government shutdown will delay that delivery.
"There's a lot of data that needs to come out of the U.S. Census Bureau in the next few weeks," Gillaspy said. "I hope that there's not going to be anything that is going to slow that process down because that would set us off late in beginning the redistricting process."
Gillaspy also says state officials also have one less month to complete the process than they did 10 years ago because the state's primary was changed to August.
Michael Cook, with the U.S. Census Bureau, wouldn't "get into hypotheticals" as to whether the data release could be slowed because of a government shutdown. He said
Every 10 years, Minnesota's Congressional boundaries have to be redrawn so there's equal population in each Congressional district. And as I reported this morning, Minnesota's delegation is keeping a close eye on how the process plays out in St. Paul.
The U.S. Census Bureau has not released the population estimates for each district but you can see which districts will need to grow and which districts will shrink by looking at past population estimates. Each Congressional district has to have 662,990 people in it. If you look at the 2009 population estimates, you'll get a good sense of the makeup of each district. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson has to pick up the most population followed by DFL Rep. Keith Ellison. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has to lose the most. Followed by GOP Rep. John Kline.
(Here's a cool map that shows the info based on the 2009 population estimates)
Here's how the districts line up when you look at 2009 population estimates and how much population it will have to gain/lose to get to the magic number:
1st Congressional District (DFL Rep. Tim Walz)
2009 estimate: 635,429 (-27,561)
2nd Congressional District (GOP Rep. John Kline)
2009 estimate: 737,324 (+74,334)
3rd Congressional District (GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen)
2009 estimate: 664,528 (+1,538)
4th Congressional District (DFL Rep. Betty McCollum)
2009 estimate: 623,879 (-39,111)
5th Congressional District (DFL Rep. Keith Ellison)
2009 estimate: 618,292 (-44,698)
6th Congressional District (GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann)
2009 estimate: 755,489 (+92,499)
7th Congressional District (DFL Rep. Collin Peterson)
2009 estimate: 615,742 Peterson (-47,248)
8th Congressional District (GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack)
2009 estimate: 649,438 (-13,552)