Some Golden Valley residents will be under a new legislative district number, according to a plan a Minnesota Supreme Court Special Redistricting Panel released Tuesday.
Under the new plan, Senate District 45 remains largely the same. An area east of Theodore Wirth Parkway and south of Olson Memorial Highway is now in Senate District 45, whereas it previously was in District 44.
The Senate district formerly known as 44 now will be known as Senate District 46. The new district adds Medicine Lake and a part of Plymouth to its boundaries.
Golden Valley was in House districts 44B and 45B. It now will be in House districts 46A and 45B.
(See attached PDFs for maps of current and former districts. Each of the 2012 maps of the Senate or House districts is followed by its 2002 counterpart.)
Redistricting happens every decade, after the census. The intention is for each district to include approximately the same number of people. State legislators could not agree on district boundaries, so the State Supreme Court appointed a panel, which released its maps at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Rep. Ryan Winkler, who currently represents parts of Golden Valley and St. Louis Park north of Minnetonka, said while there are some new people for him to meet in 46A, he doesn't see things changing too much.
"It's not different from what you'd do in any other campaign," Winkler said.
The representative added that the district will still generally be the same—and he feels good about his chances to win re-election.
"By and large, voters will kind of be disposed to Democratic candidates, and I plan on running as a Democrat," Winkler said.
Sen. Ron Latz shared Winkler's sentiments.
“For my own purposes, I’m optimistic I can win re-election in this district,” he said. “I will have to introduce myself to new residents in Plymouth.”
This is Latz’s first redistricting process, but he was a beneficiary of the 2002 redistricting—which created a new House district where he resides. Two-thirds of that House district was new for the incumbent state representative who came before him.
Latz, on the other hand, served on the St. Louis Park City Council, graduated from Hopkins High School and grew up in Golden Valley. The incumbent wound up retiring instead of running for re-election, and Latz won election to the House that same year—followed by election to the Senate in 2006.
While Latz may have benefitted from that redistricting, he noted the process creates tough choices for other senators. With this redistricting, for example, fellow Minneapolis DFL senators Kenneth Kelash and Scott Dibble are now in the same district. The same is true for Sens. John Marty and Mary Jo McGuire—from Roseville and Falcon Heights, respectively.
Unlike a general election, a contest between such candidates is between people who are ideologically similar and often friends.
“I do know I’m saddened that some of my own colleagues are going to have to face off against one another or have to make some hard decisions about their political futures,” said Latz. “Political careers and passions are on the line now. … It’s a sad, but natural, part of the process.”
If you want to see specifically what districts your address sits in, you can go to the state Legislature's website or check the PDFs included with this story.
Minnesota's congressional redistricting appears to have little practical impact.
Incumbent Reps. Michele Bachmann, a Sixth District Republican from West Lakeland Township, and Betty McCollum, the Fourth District Democrat from St. Paul, will now share residency in a redrawn Fourth District.
However, Bachmann has said she intends to run again for her Sixth District seat—Congressional office-holders aren't required to live in the districts they represent—eliminating any potential Battle Royale between the two in November.