Sen. Kelash Won't Face Sen. Dibble
The legislator, representing both Richfield and Minneapolis, plans to run in Senate District 50.
That’s one redistricting battle avoided.
State Sen. Ken Kelash (DFL-Minneapolis/Richfield) says he will seek his party’s endorsement in the 2012 elections for the newly redrawn Senate District 50, covering Bloomington and part of Richfield. This decision sidesteps a battle against Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) for the newly redrawn Senate District 61.
Kelash lives very close to the border of the two districts, and if he ran against Dibble, fully half of Southwest Minneapolis' legislative seats would be contested by dueling DFLers in the fall. Kelash said he warmed to the idea of moving while hearing the issues brought up at a legislative update session in Bloomington.
"I said to myself ‘I’ve been working on these issues for a long while,'" he said. "Just because the judge drew the (legislative district) line three blocks from my house, I’m not going to give that up.”
Kelash said he was also receiving messages of support from DFL delegates and union leaders. The DFL nominating convention is March 31, and Kelash must move into the new district by May 6 to run in the general election.
Job creation and economic development policy are his biggest issues, Kelash told Patch. These are opportunities for which Bloomington has in spades, with developments at the intersection of Penn Avenue and American Boulevard and near the Mall of America.
"If I win (the endorsement), I'll still have a good chunk of Richfield, so I won't be dropping that," he said.