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Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy says he is optimistic but not 100 percent sure the state will keep all eight of its congressional seats in the next round of redistricting.

Gillaspy: Optimistic MN will keep all congressional seats

Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

State Demographer Tom Gillaspy (Staff photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy says he is optimistic but not 100 percent sure the state will keep all eight of its congressional seats in the next round of redistricting.

Gillaspy recently told MPR that he expects the Census Bureau to release the state’s population figures and its number of seats through reapportionment in the last week of the year.

“It’s going to be very close,” Gillaspy told MPR. “We’re a cusp state.”

There have been fears that lowering population figures could mean one less seat for Minnesota, but Gillaspy said Minnesotans had a higher response rate when it came to filling out the initial census request, meaning people are less likely to be missed in counting.

Gillaspy also said fears that a Republican-controlled Legislature will rush through a redistricting bill if the recount drags past session start are “a bit exaggerated,” according to MPR. He says the Census Bureau is unlikely to give the population information needed to help lawmakers draw the districts for the Legislature and Congress until late February. Senate Republicans named Geoff Michel as head of their redistricting efforts on Monday.

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