by Peter Bodley
Incumbents have found themselves paired in three Anoka County legislative districts under the Minnesota Legislature redistricting plan released by a courts panel Tuesday.
In addition, the redistricting plan not only renumbers all the Senate and House districts in the county, it also creates two open districts in the county, one in the Senate and the other in the House, where there are no incumbents.
Under the redistricting plan for the Senate, incumbent Republican Michelle Benson, Ham Lake (R-District 49) is in new Senate District 31 with fellow Republican Mike Jungbauer, East Bethel (R-District 48).
Now that redistricting of the congressional and Minnesota Senate and House districts has been announced by a state courts panel, cities and counties now have a chance to redraw their district/ward and precinct boundaries.
Cities go first and those that have districts/wards and precincts have to have a new plan in place by Tuesday, April 3.
The Anoka County Board has scheduled a special board meeting for Tuesday, May 1 to vote on a new redistricting plan for the seven county board seats.
Redrawing wards/districts by cities and the county requires adherence to the boundaries of the new House districts.
Filings for the 2012 election begin Tuesday, May 22 and run through Tuesday, June 5.
The 2012 primary election is Tuesday, Aug. 14 and the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
District 31 includes a portion of Andover, Ham Lake, East Bethel, other northern and eastern Anoka County communities and parts of Isanti County.
In the House, Republicans Branden Petersen and Peggy Scott, both of Andover, who currently represent districts 49B and 49A, are potential GOP primary opponents in their new House District 35B, which includes portions of Andover and Coon Rapids.
And in the southern part of the county, DFLers Tom Tillberry, Fridley, and Kate Knuth, New Brighton, are both in new House District 41A.
Tillberry has represented Fridley and Spring Lake Park in District 51B, while Knauth has been in District 50B representing New Brighton and Arden Hills.
There is one open Senate seat with no incumbent in Anoka County – new Senate District 35, which includes Anoka, Ramsey, Nowthen and parts of Andover and Coon Rapids.
Incumbent Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, is now in House District 35A, still representing Anoka and Ramsey.
There is also one open House district in Anoka County, 37A, which includes portions of Blaine and Coon Rapids, as well as part of Spring Lake Park.
Spring Lake Park Republican Pam Wolf is the incumbent in new Senate District 37, while Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine, finds himself in new House District 37B.
In the Senate redistricting, GOP Sen. Benjamin Kruse of Brooklyn Park, who currently represents District 47, which includes Brooklyn Park, Champlin and parts of Coon Rapids, is now in District 36, which still includes those three communities.
DFL Reps. Denise Dittrich, Champlin (47A) and Melissa Hortman, Brooklyn Park, (47B) have been put in House districts 36A and 36B, respectively, with portions of Coon Rapids remaining part of their two districts.
In the House, longtime Republican Rep. Tom Hackbarth, Cedar, moves from 48A to 31B.
Redistricting has carved the city of Coon Rapids into three Senate and four House districts, while the city of Blaine is in two Senate districts and three House districts.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]