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Republican District Redraw Uproots And Upsets Democrats

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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Every 10 years congressional districts get redrawn because of changing population figures. This year the Republicans, who control the legislature, get to redraw the boundaries and they are proposing some big changes to the lines currently in place .

The changes have some unforeseen consequences for Democrats, one being that former Sen.Tarryl Clark may have wasted her money on a new condo in Duluth, Minn.

Just over the weekend Clark announced she was moving to a Duluth condo to run against Chip Cravaack. But if she had waited to buy the condo, she would have learned Monday that the Republican plan already puts her and Cravaack in the same district.

Under the new map, longtime DFL Congressman Colin Peterson would be living in the 8th District not the 7th, and Cravaack, who upset Jim Oberstar last year, would be living in the 7th not the 8th.

“This map that the Republicans have drawn up is the culmination of a decades-long dream to merge what had been the Colin Peterson and Jim Oberstar districts in ways that help the Republicans,” said Humphrey Institute professor Larry Jacobs.

The new map strengthens Rep. Michele Bachmann’s 6th district with a larger concentration of Republican leaning voters. And in the 1st Cogressional District, now represented by Democrat Tim Walz, there will also be a lot more Republican voters.

“The maps the Republicans have drawn are dead on arrival when they come to Gov. Dayton’s office. He would never sign these because there’s going to be probably uniform or close to uniform opposition by Democrats in the legislature,” Jacobs said.

Dayton has said any redistricting plan has to have bi-partisan support.

If there is no compromise and the governor does in fact veto this proposed redistricting, the new map would end up in court were a judge would set the boundaries.

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