Opinion: Minnesota map could lead to tribal member in office

"The court-ordered redistricting plan issued last week could lay the foundation for the election of a Red Lake or Leech Lake band member to the Minnesota Legislature.

The Supreme Court, given the redistricting chore after realizing the Legislature and the governor would not agree to political jurisdiction boundaries, did perhaps the greatest reshuffling of legislative districts involving the Bemidji area and the western Iron Range area. The end result could bode well with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party by including entire American Indian reservations within legislative districts.

Interesting is a realignment of House 2B into a new House 2A. House 2B current Rep. Dave Hancock, R-Bemidji, will see a totally new landscape should he seek re-election. Hancock in 2010 beat Rep. Brita Sailor, DFL-Park Rapids. Republican Hancock was a surprising winner as the Red Lake Reservation, which usually votes 90 percent or more for Democrats, has pushed Democratic candidates over the top with last-minute vote tallies on the reservation. The old 2B included counties with more conservative leanings, but are not in the new 2A."

Get the Story:
Brad Swenson: Odds improve for election of an American Indian legislator (The Bemidji Pioneer 3/1)

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