Goodhue County is packing up and moving into the 1st Congressional District. While the county will continue to be represented by Rep. Angie Craig until January 2023, it’s good to learn a little about the county’s new district, especially because things are already a little complicated.
Districts within a state need to be equal in population. This is why districts in the Twin Cities metro area look tiny while those in the state’s northern and western regions cover multiple counties. Based on the 2020 census data, districts were redrawn and new maps were released Feb. 15.
The “Final Order Adopting a Congressional Redistricting Plan,” created by the state’s special redistricting panel, explains that Goodhue County was added to the 1st District because “this primarily rural district grew at a rate slower than the state as a whole, requiring the addition of 22,586 people to meet the ideal district population.”
Communities are not randomly placed into a district, the public can share ideas about redistricting. District lines are often drawn around communities that share similarities. For example, the redistricting panel says of adding Goodhue and Wabasha counties to the 1st District, “Both have significant ties to Rochester and are predominantly rural.”
Rochester is the largest city in the district and the majority of the district is rural.
Meanwhile, the plan notes that “as part of the substantial suburban growth of the past decade, the population of the 2nd District has increased and exceeds the ideal population by 18,646 people. … Its population centers are the suburban cities located in Scott, Dakota and southern Washington Counties.”
The move for the 1st District is not new for Goodhue and Wabasha as both counties have previously been in the district.
1st District quick look
The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 data shows:
Median age: 38.3
The population is over 97% white
Median household income: $66,330
Mean household income: $84,127
U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn died on Feb. 17 after a battle with kidney cancer. A special election is scheduled for Aug. 9, and the winner of that election will complete the five remaining months of Hagedorn’s term.
A primary election will be held May 24 to decide who will be on the ballot for the special election.
Aug. 9 will also be primary elections, where the Nov. 2 ballot will be decided. The winner of the November election will serve a full two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Changing districts makes this more complicated. Since Goodhue County is represented in the 1st District until January of next year, residents of the country can’t vote in the special election. However, those residents can vote in the primary election, as it will lead to who is elected to begin representing the county and district in January.
Candidates can run in both the special election and primary election.
So far one individual has announced their plan to run in the special election. Rick DeVoe is a Red Wing resident and owner of Fair Trade Books in the city. Reports state that DeVoe will formally announce his candidacy on Monday, Feb. 28. DeVoe is planning to make the announcement at 5 p.m. in front of the Red Wing post office.
Ballotpedia.com reports that so far, Logan Wajer is running as an independent in the general election and Michael Hastings is running as a Republican in the primary.
The past 100 years of the 1st District
Sydney Anderson, Republican, March 1911 to March 1925
Allen Furlow, Republican, March 1925 to March 1929
Victor Cristgau, Republican, March 1929 to March 1933
District inactive, March 1933 to Mach 1935
August Andresen, Republican, Jan. 1935 to Jan. 1958
Vacant after Andresen’s death, Jan. 1958 to Feb. 1958
Al Quie, Republican, Feb. 1958 to Jan. 1979
Arlen Erdahl, Republican, Jan. 1979 to Jan. 1983
Tim Penny, Democratic, Jan. 1983 to Jan. 1995
Gil Gutnecht, Republican, Jan. 1995 to Jan. 2007
Tim Walz, Democratic, Jan. 2007 to Jan. 2019
Jim Hagedorn, Republican, Jan. 2019 to Feb. 2022
The district was “inactive” from March 1933 to March 1935 because the state’s nine representatives were elected at large in 1933.
The American Political Science Review explains that this was because in June 1929, the reapportionment act passed by Congress reduced Minnesota’s representation from 10 to nine seats. This necessitated redistricting and the state legislature passed a bill in April, 1931, but Gov. Floyd B. Olson vetoed it, saying that the bill was gerrymandered. Districts were not created and approved before the deadline for the 1933 election.