UPDATED: Dibble, Kelash Lumped Into New State Senate District
Major changes to Southwest Minneapolis legislative boundaries ordered by redistricting panel.
Updated 10:12 a.m. 2/22/12: State Rep. Frank Hornstein has announced he will run in 2012.
Four prominent Minneapolis DFL legislators have been thrust into electoral combat with each other after new legislative districts were unveiled on Tuesday by a special court-appointed panel.
In the 2012 election, State Sens. Scott Dibble and Ken Kelash could face off in a redrawn Senate District 61. A map of the new district can be seen at right. Dibble, an Uptown resident, currently represents much of the area in the new district, while Kelash, a Kenny resident, will see much of his current district cut off. Tuesday afternoon, Dibble's office confirmed that he will be running in the 2012 election, and Kelash has informed Richfield Patch he also intends to run.
State Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL minority leader, won't have to face another incumbent DFLer in his quest to represent House District 61B. However, the plan places Rep. Frank Hornstein into the same district as Rep. Marion Greene. Greene, an East Isles resident, and Hornstein, a Linden Hills resident, currently represent different halves of Dibble’s Senate District 60. Greene could not be reached for comment, but Wednesday morning, Hornstein announced he will seek re-election in the new district, dubbed 61A
“I’m running to continue my work to promote transit and renewable energy and to advocate for human rights and equality,” Hornstein said in a written announcement. “During my time at the legislature, I’ve learned how to build coalitions to pass legislation that makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Districts of Sen. Jeff Hayden and Rep. Susan Allen gained large swaths of Kingfield and Tangletown, but otherwise did not change significantly. In an interview with Patch, Hayden said he was sad to see so many progressive legislators facing possible primary battles against each other, but at first blush the map seemed fair.
"They're all really good people who've got to make really tough decisions, he said."But, you know, in the GOP they're having to face the same situation."
Legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years. The Minnesota Supreme Court appointed a panel to redraw district boundaries after Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled state legislature were unable to agree on new legislative maps.
An interactive map prepared by the state Legislative Coordinating Commission's Geographic Information Services can be viewed here.