New district maps shake up boundaries

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

By Alex Guerrero

The eastern third of Freeborn County will join most of Mower County to form the new House District 23B, according to the new district maps released Tuesday by a Minnesota Supreme Court special redistricting panel after a months-long battle.

House District 23A will include the western two-thirds of Freeborn County and expand further west into Faribault County and north into Waseca and Steele County. 

The changes provide a shakeup in district lines set 10 years ago. 

Redistricting occurs every 10 years following the census to help reflect changes in population in congressional legislative districts. The goal is to make all districts equal in population.

The House districts for Freeborn County had previously been District 27A with a small area in the southeastern part of the county in District 27B. 

Under the new district lines, Hayward, Hayward Township, London Township, Moscow Township, Myrtle, Newry Township, Oakland Township and Shell Rock Township will be in District 23B, while the remainder of Freeborn County will be in 23A.

Hayfield, where District 27 Sen. Gene Dornink lives, will no longer be in the same Senate district that covers Freeborn and Mower counties, as all of Dodge County is now in Senate District 24.

The 2022 congressional statewide map stayed largely the same in the 1st District, with every southernmost county included, along with Watonwan, Nicollet, Blue Earth, Waseca, Steele, Dodge, Olmstead, Winona, Wabasha and Goodhue. Parts of Brown and Rice counties will also compromise the 1st District. Goodhue and Wabasha counties are new to the district, while Cottonwood County will join District 7. 

The state will continue to have eight districts.

Robert Hoffman, chairman of the Freeborn County Republicans, described the new map as great.

“I don’t feel like anything changed that is excessively negative or changes how our values in southern Minnesota are reflected by those who represent us in southern Minnesota,” he said.

His biggest concern from a personal standpoint was the loss of Dornick as District 27 senator. 

“I really would have liked to have Gene Dornick stay right here as our senator with these lines drawn as they are now,” he said. 

In a statement DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said he was grateful for the redistricting panel and their hard work over the last few months.

“It will take some time for us to conduct a full analysis of these maps, but we are excited nonetheless to have this process conclude and have a clear sense of the political landscape in front of us,” he said. “Across Minnesota, local DFL Party organizing units will be working overtime to endorse our candidates in new districts and ensure our campaign infrastructure is ready to kick into high gear.”

When reached, Freeborn County DFL leader Julie Ackland declined to comment.

Redistricting is also taking place at the city and county level, with more information to be coming in the upcoming weeks.

 

House District 23A

Faribault County

Barber Township

Bricelyn City

Brush Creek Township

Clark Township

Dunbar Township

Easton City

Elmore City

Elmore Township

Emerald Township

Foster Township

Frost City

Kiester City

Kiester Township

Lura Township

Minnesota Lake City

Minnesota Lake Towsnhip

Rome Township

Seely Township

Walnut Lake Township

Walters City

Wells City

Freeborn County

Albert Lea 

Albert Lea Township

Alden 

Alden Township

Bancroft Township

Bath Township

Carlston Township

Clarks Grove 

Conger 

Emmons 

Freeborn 

Freeborn Township

Freeman Township

Geneva 

Geneva Township

Glenville 

Hartland 

Hartland Township

Hollandale 

Manchester 

Manchester Township

Nunda Township

Pickerel Lake Township

Riceland Township

Twin Lakes 

Steele County

Aurora Township

Berlin Township

Ellendale 

Lemond Township

Somerset Township

Summit Township

Waseca County

Byron Township

Freedom Township

New Richland 

New Richland Township

Otisco Township

Vivian Township

Waldorf 

Wilton Township

 

House District 23B

Freeborn County

Hayward

Hayward Township

London Township

Moscow Township

Myrtle 

Newry Township

Oakland Township

Shell Rock Township

Mower County

Adams 

Adams Township

Austin 

Austin Township

Brownsdale 

Clayton Township

Dexter 

Dexter Township

Elkton 

Grand Meadow 

Grand Meadow Township

Londi Township

Lyle 

Lyle Township

Marshall Township

Nevada Township

Pleasant Valley Township

Red Rock Township

Rose Creek 

Sargeant 

Sargeant Township

Taopi 

Udolpho Township

Waltham 

Waltham Township

Windom Township

Steele County

Blooming Prairie 

Blooming Prairie Township