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Stevens County without incumbent state senator after redistricting, Ingebrigtsen to run in District 8

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen

MORRIS, Minn. - New legislative redistricting maps released on Tuesday left Stevens County in a bigger legislative district and without an incumbent state senator.

Stevens County is now in Senate District 12 and House District 12A.

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, who currently represents Stevens, Douglas, Grant and Todd Counties in Senate District 11, is now in District 8, along with fellow Republican senator, Gretchen Hoffman of Vergas.

On Friday, Ingebrigtsen said he would seek election in his new district. Hoffman also announced that she will be running for Congress in the district held by long-time U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.

Ingebrigtsen will continue to represent Stevens County in District 11 until the new boundaries take effect in the fall.

"It truly is an honor to represent the residents of Senate District 11, and I continue to welcome any legislative questions and concerns," Ingebrigtsen said in a statement.

Rep. Torrey Westrom is alone in District 12A, which encompasses Wilkin, Traverse, Big Stone, Grant and Stevens Counties entirely and small portions of Douglas and Pope Counties. Rep. Paul Anderson of Starbuck has district 12B to himself, which includes all of Stearns County and portions of Pope and Douglas Counties.

Earlier this week, Westrom told the Echo Press in Alexandria that his new District 12A is similar to District 13A, which he represented 10 years ago, except that 12A excludes any of Swift and adds Wilkin and the southern part of Big Stone counties. He noted that it also includes more of Douglas County than the old 13A District.

When asked how the new lines will affect his re-election plans for 2012, Westrom said, "It may not - but stay tuned."

To the north, Douglas County has been carved up into two Senate districts - 8 and 12 - and three House districts - 8B, 12A and 12B.

The city of Alexandria is also split under the new redistricting, although most of the city, 10,415 residents, will now live in District 8 while 655 residents are located in District 12.

In the next several days, legislators and potential candidates may consider moving to a new district. According to state law, a legislative candidate must live in the district he or she wants to represent for six months before election day on Nov. 6, 2012.

Al Edenloff of the Alexandria Echo Press contributed to this report. The Echo Press and Morris Sun Tribune are both owned by Forum Communications Co.