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Some say redistricting shouldn’t join St. Cloud and Duluth

With redistricting planning now under way, some state residents don’t want to see St. Cloud lumped in with Duluth when the final plan goes into effect dividing the state into eight congressional districts equal in population.

But with so much growth in the St. Cloud area, that could be a possibility.

The state judicial panel — which may set the boundaries (assuming the Legislature and governor can’t agree, as is likely) — has received some written input from residents of both areas, says the St. Cloud Times.

“We have a very different way of life than the people in St. Cloud, and Duluth and St. Cloud are the center cities for very different parts of the state,” Debra Lynn Taylor of Duluth wrote. “Let each anchor its own surrounding territory.”

Two Woodbury residents wrote that they don’t like that their area has been included in the 6th District, which ranges in an odd shape from Washington County east of St. Paul then over to St. Cloud. They feel more attuned to the St. Paul metro area. 

“It’s hard to grasp how St. Cloud residents care at all about whether we need a new bridge in Stillwater,” Joe Ward of Woodbury.

There have been comments, too, on legislative districts.

Former Freeport state Rep. Bud Heidgerken wrote that there’s a great advantage in keeping small towns together in legislative districts.

“Please consider keeping some House districts with many small towns and no large ones,” Heidgerken wrote.

And in the fine-fine-tuning department, a St. Cloud official noted that a small portion of the city is in a different legislative district than adjoining areas, which creates extra election costs.

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