When new legislative districts are announced the spate of choices are limited for legislators drawn together with another member or for those drawn out of the districts they currently represent. Those choices are, run in the district you are drawn into, no matter what the obstacles, run in a new district, run for something else or retire.
These decisions could play out after the end of the legislative session if the legislature drew the maps, but as has been the case since 1962, with the strange exception of 1992, when Governor Arne Carlson (R-MN) failed to correctly veto the redistricting bill, which we have heard might have been intentional and an orchestrated maneuver by Chief of Staff Lars Carlson and Press Secretary Cyndi Brucato, due to divided government, courts draw our maps. In this case the did so at the last possible moment.
This means we will continue to provide notices of different legislator’s intensions in drips and drabs, but also as is our style with speculation and advisory direction. One thing is clear it’s the politician’s decision.
In the House
Rep Ester Agbaje (DFL-59B, Minneapolis) has announced her intention to move into the new 59B, out of 61A, and leave Rep Frank Hornstein (DFL-61A, Minneapolis) alone without an incumbent conflict in the district.
In the Senate
Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen (DFL-49, Edina) must decide if she wants a political future in the senate and the better route is move to the open seat in District 42, and leave the District46 to Sen Ron Latz (DFL-46, St Louis Park) for two reasons, one, he has already said he is running and secondly, it the same district number he currently represents, and makes up 80% of his old district. Problem for Lopez Franzen is limited options, the open seat for her is District 50, which Rep Andrew Carlson (DFL-50B, Bloomington) announced for yesterday in order to remove him from the conflict with Rep Steve Elkins (DFL-49B, Edina) in the new 50B. Carlson leaves Lopez Franzen with limited options, of which only a Primary can solve and a woman battling in the suburbs is a good choice, especially one with the resources of the DFL Senate Caucus. Besides, Elkins wants to extend Ranked Choice Voting to all of Minnesota’s elections, and is quite cowardly, because he has failed to contact our publisher to learn how he is misguided, and so his reelection anywhere, to us, is suspect.
Freshman Sen Ann Johnson Stewart (DFL44, Wayzata) may be a Scott by marriage, but is a Scandinavian by heritage and the stubbornness is showing. She has declared her intention to run for reelection in District 44 against Sen Dave Osmek (R-33, Mound) and so has Rep Kelly Morrison (DFL-33B, Deephaven) but Stewart could move to the open Senate District 50 but seems unwilling to do so, in spite of it being in close proximity. Of course, Morrison could do the same and we are surprised when politicians will only opt for what they know, and the comfort of their existing home, rather than a fresh start in a new home and a new district.