Minnesota Court Unveils New District Maps, Craig Jumpstarts Reelection Bid
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A five-judge panel appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court unveiled the maps depicting the state’s new political districts Tuesday, with the headline grabber being changes to the swing district currently represented by Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn.
Craig’s 2nd Congressional District shed two counties — Goodhue and Wabasha — which were absorbed into Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. The 1st Congressional District, meanwhile, gave up Le Sueur County, which was moved into the 2nd Congressional District.
All three counties are considered reliably conservative and Republican counties.
In 2020 in Le Sueur County, which is now part of Craig’s district, 64.1% of voters supported Republicans on the ticket, while 33.7% supported Democrats and .2% voted independent.
After the maps were made public, Craig, who is used to competitive congressional races, announced her bid for reelection.
“While I am, of course, disappointed that the new boundaries do not include all of the cities and towns that I currently represent in Congress, I look forward to being the voice of several new communities across Minnesota,” she said in a statement.
At present, her only announced challenger is Republican Tyler Kistner, who lost to Craig by 2 percentage points in 2020.
In a post on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, Kistner tweeted, “One thing is clear, Angie Craig’s days in Congress are numbered.”
“Our campaign is excited for the opportunity to grow our grassroots movement by listening to and serving hardworking Minnesota families in Dakota, Scott, Rice, southern Washington, and Le Sueur counties,” Kistner said.
The mapmaking process wound up in the court’s hands after the legislature deadlocked and couldn’t agree on their own set of maps before the deadline set in state law.
Minnesota is one of 10 states still waiting on the passage of new political maps ahead of the 2022 election.
Another interesting change to the congressional district map involves Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, which is traditionally in the northeastern part of the state, but now stretches farther to the west and southeast.
The panel of judges said in its order that, “This change respects the sovereignty of the American Indian tribes and the request of tribal leaders and Minnesotans across the state to afford those tribes an opportunity to join their voices.”
The effort was helped by the fact that the population in the 8th District hadn’t grown nearly as fast as other parts of the state over the past 10 years.
In a statement, Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., said he’s been honored to represent his current constituents and welcomes “the opportunity in 2023 to serve residents of Minnesota’s new 8th District.”
He said in doing so, he would “continue championing our way of life while pushing back against Washington’s runaway spending, skyrocketing inflation, nonsensical calls to defund our police, and Joe Biden’s continued assault on our small businesses and the middle class.”
Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue