Incumbents declare plans to seek election to new seats
APG of East Central Minnesota staff reports
An open Minnesota Senate seat in the Elk River-Otsego area is one of the results of a newly released redistricting plan.
New House, Senate and Congressional districts have been drawn in Minnesota upon the completion of the U.S. Census data. The district boundaries were released on Feb. 15 under the guidance of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s appointed five-judge panel.
Generally, Minnesota’s population growth has not been uniform over the last 10 years, with many urban and suburban areas showing significant growth and rural areas growing more slowly or losing population.
Senate District 30 shifts to the east and south
Elk River remains part of a Senate District 30 but it is not the same configuration. Two of the most significant changes for Senate District 30 are that the district pushes to the east to include Nowthen and no longer includes Big Lake. The eastern boundary divides Oak Grove. Ramsey remains in a different Senate district.
The western boundary of the Senate district is Zebulon Street in Elk River. It used to expand west of the city of Big Lake border.
Senate District 30 continues to include Otsego, Albertville, St. Michael and Hanover. It dips further south now to include Rockford Township, but not the city of Rockford.
House District 30A is now the southern portion of Senate District 30, which splits through the center of Otsego before taking in the communities of Albertville, St. Michael, Hanover and Rockford Township.
House District 30B includes all of Elk River, all of Nowthen, part of Oak Grove and the eastern half of Otsego.
The release of new legislative boundaries touched off a flurry of announcements, including the retirement of Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake.
Rep. Paul Novotny, R-Elk River, announced he is seeking election to the newly created House 30B seat, and Rep. Eric Lucero, formerly of Dayton who how resides in St. Michael, announced he will run for the newly configured Senate District 30 seat. This seat does not have an incumbent, and Lucero’s decision also leaves House District 30A wide open at this point. Lucero told the Star News that two candidates have surfaced who plan to seek the GOP endorsement on March 19. No word yet on any DFL candidates.
Novotny announces run for new Minnesota House District 30B
Novotny announced on Feb. 16 he is running for the new House District 30B seat.
“After seeing the (new legislative district) maps and talking with my wife, I would like to announce that I am running to represent House District 30B,” Novotny stated in a press release. “It has been an honor to serve in the state Legislature.”
Novotny was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in a special election in February 2020, and he won re-election in November 2020.
The new House District 30B will encompass Elk River, Nowthen, and parts of Otsego and Oak Grove.
Rep. Lucero to seek new Minnesota Senate District 30 seat
State Rep. Eric Lucero announced on Feb. 16 he is running for the Minnesota Senate in this November’s general election. The area was previously represented by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, but new legislative maps moved the district boundaries resulting in Kiffmeyer being in a different district.
Lucero has lived in the Dayton area throughout most of his time in the Minnesota Legislature, but said he moved to his lake home on Beebe Lake in St. Michael, with a Buffalo mailing address. He sold his Dayton home in September of 2021.
The redrawn Senate District 30 area includes the communities of Albertville, Elk River, Hanover, Nowthen, Otsego, Rockford Township, St. Michael, and western Oak Grove.
“It has been a true honor serving Wright County and a sliver of Hennepin County as state representative for the last eight years, working hard upholding our constitutional values and priorities,” Lucero said. “During my time in office, I’ve been a leading voice for truth on many issues including pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-law enforcement, medical freedom, education transparency, election integrity, tax cuts, and more.”
Lucero is a small business owner and his professional background includes 18 years in the cybersecurity industry and over a decade as a real estate agent. His academic background includes bachelor’s degrees in both law enforcement and computer forensics and an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
Kiffmeyer announces her retirement from Minnesota Legislature
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer announced her retirement on Feb. 16. She will retire from the Minnesota Senate at the end of the year.
Kiffmeyer was elected to the Senate in 2012 after serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2009-2011. She previously served as Minnesota Secretary of the State from 1999-2006. In her time as secretary, Minnesota had the highest voter turnout in the nation.
“It has been an honor to be in the Legislature and represent my constituents and neighbors. I worked every day to support the district,” Kiffmeyer said. “I focused on meeting the needs of the region by fighting for millions of dollars to expand I-94, Highway 10 and 169, and protecting the state’s elections by increasing transparency and integrity in the voting process. My focus was always on helping make Minnesota a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Kiffmeyer has endorsed Sen. Andrew Mathews, R-Princeton, for the newly formed Senate District 27. She called him a friend and colleague.
“Andrew is a fantastic senator and will serve the district well with his conservative values, his care for his constituents and his incredible work ethic,” she said.
The newly drawn Senate District 27 encompasses parts of Anoka, Mille Lacs, Isanti, and Sherburne counties.
Mathews announces bid for the newly drawn Senate District 27
Sen. Andrew Mathews announced his intention to run in the newly formed Minnesota Senate District 27 that includes Zimmerman and Princeton.
“After consulting with my family and supporters, I have decided to run for reelection in the newly drawn Senate District 27,” he stated in a press release. “Representing my constituents across Benton, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, and Wright counties has been a tremendous honor. I look forward to continuing to be a strong conservative voice for my constituents both old and new.”
“It is critical our area is represented by someone committed to fighting for constitutional values and conservative principles, and stand against big government bureaucracy in St. Paul. I am working hard to make sure our streets are safe, the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is respected, and that overtaxed Minnesotans get more of their money back. Our work is not yet finished and therefore I ask for your support.”
Mathews thanked Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, for her long record as a conservative champion and for her support of his reelection.
“I have learned a lot from her experience, and I wish her the best as she retires from the Senate,” Mathews said.
Mathews is in his second term in the Senate. He was first elected in 2016. He currently serves as the chair of the Civil Law Committee. Mathews lives in Princeton with his wife, Elsa, and their son, Daniel. They are expecting their second child in July. The newly drawn Senate District 27 encompasses parts of Anoka, Mille Lacs, Isanti, and Sherburne counties.
House District 15A has been divided
The former Minnesota House District 15A has been divided, from the north to south approximately, and split into two House districts, 10A and 10B, roughly splitting Morrison, Mille Lacs and Kanabec in half longitudinally.
House District 10A will roughly include the Mille Lacs community, the southern half of Aitkin County, northwestern half of Kanabec County, northern half of Morrison County, and the southern quarter of Crow Wing County. House District 10B will roughly include the southern half of Morrison County, most of Benton County, midsection of Mille Lacs County (falling short of reaching Princeton), the northwest corner of Isanti County, and the southwestern quarter of Kanabec County.
In the House, long-time Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, would now be placed in Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt’s district (27B). When this type of pairing happens, legislators will determine if they will run against another incumbent, retire or move to another district with no incumbent. As of deadline Monday, it was unclear what Erickson, who has held the seat since 1998 (minus two years where she was unseated in 2008), would do.
Senate District with Rogers no longer tied to Maple Grove but is tied to Champlin and part of Brooklyn Park
Maple Grove is no longer part of the Minnesota Senate district that includes shared areas of Rogers, Dayton and Osseo. Now, most of Champlin will be grouped with Dayton and Rogers in a Senate district. The city of Osseo will now be grouped with a portion of Brooklyn Park.
The new district lines and numbers will go into effect for this fall’s election. Representatives and senators will take office for the new districts next January.
The district represented by Sen. John Hoffman, DFL- Champlin, will be changing, dropping part of Coon Rapids and part of Brooklyn Park. The new district will be gaining Rogers and Dayton.
Maple Grove will now be moving into a new district with Corcoran, Greenfield, Medina, Independence and Maple Plain. This also means the new House District 37A has two incumbent representatives – Rep. Kristin Robbins, R-Maple Grove, and Rep. Jerry Hertaus, R-Greenfield.
Robbins said, “The new maps have significantly changed my district. Although the new 37A keeps about half of Maple Grove, I will no longer be representing Rogers and Dayton. I will now have the opportunity to represent Corcoran, Greenfield, Independence, Loretto, Maple Plain and Medina, and am looking forward to getting to know more people in all of those communities.”
She plans to run for the new District 37A seat.
Rep. Kristin Bahner, DFL-Maple Grove, agrees about the changes within the district boundaries she represents.
“The new district loses one of my favorite sections of the current district, Osseo, which now moves to the east,” Bahner said. “The district also loses a few precincts to south and west to the new 42A district which includes Plymouth while it extends north to the border to Maple Grove adding some new precincts.”
She plans to run for the new District 37B.
The House district representing Champlin is shifting as well. Rep. Zach Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, will no longer be representing the residents. “It’s a big change for me,” he said. “I live in Coon Rapids and have been representing Champlin for four years. It’s been really wonderful. Champlin is such a great community. People really love their community. It’s such a great place to live, filled with wonderful people who take care of each other.”
The current Senate District 34 will be changing. Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, plans to seek endorsement for the new District 37 from the Republican party.
“Having lived in the northwest suburbs most of my life, I am very excited about the possibility of once again representing the citizens of Maple Grove, Corcoran, Greenfield, Independence, and Medina in the Minnesota Senate,” Limmer said. “But I’m very disheartened to lose the citizens of Dayton, Rogers, and Osseo (that) are no longer in our new district boundaries.”
Gaining new constituents is bittersweet for the representatives.
“I am truly disappointed to lose Osseo, which I have often called my hidden jewel and look forward to continuing to be supportive of their needs with their new representative,” Bahner said. “I am not moving far. In terms of the new Maple Grove neighbors joining the district, I know some folks in those areas and am excited to meet my new neighbors to the north.”
Robbins said, “I have great friends in both the new and old districts from before I entered politics and really appreciate the uniqueness of all of these communities. I will certainly miss representing the wonderful people of Rogers and Dayton, but I look forward to the opportunity to serve the new communities. Of course, I am very happy to continue to serve the people of Maple Grove.”
To take a closer look at the new districts and maps, visit gis.lcc.mn.gov
Congressional district mass shrinks as the suburban areas grow
Minnesota’s Sixth District, which has been represented first by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and later U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican from Delano, after Bachmann’s retirement, has lost some of its western portions over to the Seventh District, and a chunk on its eastern edge to the Eighth District, as well as the city of Anoka, which is now part of the Third District. It gained a large part of Carver County in the southwest metro, including Chanhassen and communities south of Lake Minnetonka. Previously, those were part of the Third District.
In the Eighth Congressional District, represented by U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, a Republican from Duluth, things don’t look much different. The district now stretches to the northernmost part of Minnesota, however, and reaches down to Hugo. This district gained some land from the Seventh, Sixth and Fourth districts and transferred some land from its western edges to the Seventh District.