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Republican Redistricting Plan Squeezes Minneapolis Districts

Southwest Minneapolis lawmakers aren't worried about this first draft of the plan, which needs approval from the governor.

A state House Republican redistricting plan that was approved by a committee yesterday would pit 20 incumbent House members and six Senate members against one another in 2012, including in Southwest Minneapolis.

Under the plan in Minneapolis, state Sen. Scott Dibble would face off against Sen. Ken Kelash; Sen. Patricia Torres Ray would face Sen. Linda Berglin; and Rep. Frank Hornstein would face Rep. Marion Greene. Republicans based the draft map partly on recent Census numbers.

Although Democrats condemned the Republican process for the plan, which was led by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), they said it was just the first of many small steps in the redistricting process.

"I don’t think these lines will stand,” Kelash said. “There are a lot more decisions to be made. It doesn’t do too much good to get worked up about preliminary plans.”

A final redistricting plan will have to be approved by Gov. Mark Dayton by late February of next year, although lawmakers said it's likely the plan will be vetoed and again decided by the courts.

“I think this is just a political exercise for the Republicans to go through, it's their ideal and it's highly partisan, we'll just wait for the actual map to come out in another 10 months,” Hornstein said. “Until then, I don't think people should really speculate as to what legislator gets paired with whom or what districts will look like because it's going to look very different.”

Senate Republicans are expected to release their own plan this week. Republicans said the process has been fair, although it inordinately pits incumbent Democrats against one another. Democrats said the process by which the plan was conceived was flawed because it didn't incorporate enough public input or reach out to impacted communities.

“They kind of hatched this in some deep dark basement somewhere—they’ve had literally no process,” said Dibble. “It’s par for the course, it’s the way they’ve operated in a highly partisan fashion all session. 

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