Solving Cities

Michele Bachmann loses hometown to democrat Betty McCollum

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Redrawn district lines have the potential to jettison a political turf war in Minnesota.

There goes the neighborhood -- Michele Bachmann's neighborhood.

According to the newly-drawn district lines released by a Minnesota judicial panel Feb. 21, Rep. Bachmann (MN-6) no longer lives in her own congressional district. Stillwater, the town Bachmann has called home since 1988, has been reassigned to Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4), a democrat serving her sixth term.

Though the change had the potential to jettison a turf war that would pit one of the more conservative members of congress against one of the more liberal, on Feb. 21 Bachmann told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that she would seek another term in the district she has been representing since 2007. (Residency is not required in Congressional races.)

"I'm announcing today that I will be running in the 6th Congressional district," Bachmann said. "I'll continue my service to the people in the district where I essentially went to junior high, high school, college, had my babies born and we built our business and we have our church and our family."

McCollum, speaking from the Minnesota state capitol building on Feb. 21, articulated similar resolve.

“I was very concerned that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party put out very partisan maps,” McCollum told the Star Tribune. “The judges have drawn these maps, after having taken public input and holding hearings, and I look forward to my new district. But first I have to earn their vote and earn their support. Like I said, I am going run and I am going to run to win.”

The change in congressional lines was conducted to standardize congressional districts across the state in light of 7.8 percent population growth between 2000 and 2010. According to the Associated Press, Bachmann's district, which includes some of the fastest-growing communities in the state, swelled by 100,000 residents between 2000 and 2010.

Although a fundraising e-mail released Feb. 21 by Bachmann accused the panel of "liberal bias," the changes are unlikely to hinder Bachmann in November. While the reconcieved 6th district no longer includes Bachmann's hometown or the politically split Washington County (which President Obama won 51-47 in 2008), it now contains most of Carver County, whose residents haven't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1932.

[via Star Tribune]

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Claire Lambrecht

Contributing Writer

Claire Lambrecht has written for the New York Times, Slate, Salon, The Nation, and CBS MoneyWatch. Previously, she taught English as a Teach for America Corps Member and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She holds degrees from Cornell University, the University of Hawaii, and the Arthur M. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure