Tarryl Clark, the Democratic state legislator who ran against Michele Bachmann last year and lost, has purchased a condo in Duluth, from which she announced over the weekend that she will run for Congress again, this time against Rep. Chip Cravaack, R. Unfortunately, the new map may complicate things. Pictured here is the work product soon to be taken up by the GOP-controlled state House redistricting committee. It is almost exactly the map I was expecting. It is essentially an incumbent protection map. In southern Minnesota, there aren't any dramatic changes. Not so in the North. This proposal creates a district that spans the northern part of the state, in place of the current division down the center. This gives Duluth and the Iron Range to Rep. Collin Peterson, D, and takes those Democratic areas away from Cravaack. Will Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton sign off on a map like this one? Its virtue for Democrats is that it guarantees they will hold Peterson's seat after he is gone. (His current district would probably go Republican otherwise.) It also does little to upset the balance for Rep. Tim Walz, D, in the southern 1st District. His seat remains competitive, as it was when he won it from a Republican in 2006. Republicans drew this map because it also helps them shore up Cravaack after his unexpected win over powerful veteran Rep. Jim Oberstar, D last year. Cravaack lives in exurban Chisago County, at the southern extreme of his current district, but his new district under this map (the 7th) would extend to the west instead of the north. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R, would get a slightly safer GOP seat than the one he has now in the suburban 3rd.
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