St. Cloud would shift congressional districts under citizen panel proposal

St. Cloud would shift congressional districts under citizen panel proposal Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 21, 2011 at 11:30 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - A citizens group tasked with redrawing Minnesota's congressional boundaries has assembled a plan that would shift St. Cloud from its current District 6 to a newly-constructed District 7, according to a report released Friday.

The results of the nonpartisan Citizens' Resdistricting Commission, also known as Draw the Line Minnesota, recommends a redistricting plan that differs wildly from a proposal offered by state Republican legislators earlier this year.

Under the proposal, St. Cloud would move into the 7th Congressional District, settled along the eastern border of a region covering most of central and west-central Minnesota. The district would stretch north along the North Dakota-South Dakota state border all the way up to Minnesota's border with Canada.

DRAW THE LINE REPORT: Read the Citizen Redistricting Commission's recommendations for Minnesota's new political boundaries

St. Cloud's old 6th Congressional District would instead stretch east, including most of northern Minnesota north of the Twin Cities metro area.

The new configuration would also create massive turmoil among the state's political representation as well. Under the new plan, current 6th District Rep. Michele Bachmann would face off against 8th District Rep. and fellow Republican Chip Craavack to see who would represent the area in Washington.

Commission chairwoman Candi Walz told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the St. Cloud move came partially through public meeting input, where local residents said they more closely identified with the mostly rural District 7 as opposed to a more urban district that would incorporate elements of the Twin Cities metro region.

The proposal will be presented to state’s five-judge redistricting panel, who may ultimately be responsible for deciding the hotly-contentious political issue. Gov. Mark Dayton and the state's Republican legislative majority would have to agree and pass a proposal before Feb. 24 to keep the redistricting question out of the court's hands.

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