Redistricting map released - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Political scramble is on to understand impact of new district maps

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Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL) of Winona shows NewsCenter's Peter Schuneman the maps Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL) of Winona shows NewsCenter's Peter Schuneman the maps

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- The long awaited maps are out.  On Tuesday, lawmakers sat in their offices at the State Capitol in St. Paul, discovering where their new district boundary lines are drawn.

Across Minnesota, the new legislative district maps pit 46 incumbents against each other and create 23 open seats. 

"We're getting reports from the metropolitan area exactly about what we had talked about earlier today, that there is some pairing going on.  And what we called "flipping," where a senator had a particular district, lost one half of it, and picked up somebody else's half," said Rep. Gene Pelowski of Winona.

Pairing means where once a district was home to one representative, it's now home to two… a concept that's less of an issue in greater Minnesota than in the Twin Cities metro area.

"It's more difficult to pair up somebody who lives in the city of Austin when the next closest person lives in the city of Albert Lea and somebody else lives in Preston," said Representative Jeanne Poppe of Austin.

Pairing is more of an issue for former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann who says she'll run for re-election in her old district, the 6th Congressional District, even though the new map puts her home in someone else's district, the 4th Congressional District.

Why the change? 

The shifting of districts represents a shift in population, explained Pelowski. "It shifted to either St. Cloud, Minneapolis, St. Cloud or Rochester.  That is the huge population arc now."

"Most definitely southwestern Minnesota lost population," said Poppe. "In every other part of the state... in the corners of the state, except southeast Minnesota, they lost population."

And the map shows who's in control.

"Well the 'burbs and the metro are going to drive the show.  That's a given.  If you are in greater Minnesota, you're either going to have to have seniority or you're going to have to work very hard," said Pelowski.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa reviewed the map and explains how every representative is still accounted for saying "more people have moved to the urban area and so they are naturally going to have more numbers of representatives.  But the same number of people will be represented by the same number of representatives and each of those senators as there are in our rural area."

See the new congressional district maps here and how they are changing from the districts line set in 2002.

See the new Minnesota State Senate and State House districts here.

See the new boundaries of the Minnesota House districts in the Rochester area here.

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