The Congressional redistricting plan released by state House Republicans today flips DFL Congressman Collin Peterson from the 7th District to the 8th, which is currently held by freshman Republican Chip Cravaack.
Peterson would go from representing northwestern Minnesota to representing the entire northern part of the state – including the Iron Range and Duluth.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Peterson told MPR News, arguing that the two regions are very different and that Republicans have drawn a highly partisan map.
While Cravaack would pick up large portions of friendly territory in what’s currently GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s district, fellow DFL Congressman Tim Walz would also acquire many Republican voters.
“You know this is strictly to get Cravaack re-elected and to try to make Walz vulnerable, that’s what the whole thing is about,” Peterson said.
Republicans in the state House say the plan is fair and based on population shifts in the 2010 census.
“Minnesota is changing,” said Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth. “Our population is changing, how we do business in the state, our economy. All of that is changing, and I think this map is reflective of those changes.”
Peterson predicted that redistricting will ultimately be decided by the courts.