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UPDATE: Dayton vetoes redistricting plan

By Don Davis

State Capitol Bureau

ST. PAUL -- Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton today vetoed Republican-written plan to redraw state legislative and federal congressional districts.

Earlier, he said that he would not sign any redistricting plan -- or other election-related bills -- without broad bipartisan support. The redistricting plans left the House and Senate on mostly party-line votes.

In a letter to lawmakers, Dayton said that he had warned them that he would not approve a redistricting plan drawn "for the purpose of protecting or defeating incumbents." Dayton said the U.S. House plan creates safe seats for six of the state's eight congressmen. The legislative plan, he said, appears to favor Republicans, he wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court requires legislative and congressional districts to be redrawn every 10 years to make sure all districts are the same size.

None of Minnesota's U.S. House members would compete against each other in a Republican-controlled state House's attempt to redraw congressional lines, which creates a massive district across northern Minnesota.

The new 8th Congressional District would stretch from Moorhead to Cloquet, with the line dipping south to cut Mille Lacs Lake in half. It would encompass 23 counties, including Becker, where U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson lives.

Stevens County would no longer be represented by Peterson, who now represents the 7th Congressional District. Rookie Republican Congressman Chip Cravaak would be the area's House representative under the plan.

The redistricting plan will be discussed in a House committee hearing today and the full House likely will vote on it later this week. The House already passed, with Democrats opposed, a state legislative redistricting plan.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.