The redistricting shuffle continues.
Fallout has been almost constant since release of the state’s redistricting maps last week, and over the weekend a few more incumbent-on-incumbent match-ups became clear, some House members switched to run for open Senate seats and new candidates emerged to take their place.
GOP freshman Sen. Al DeKruif has chosen not to run against three-term Republican Sen. Julie Rosen in Senate District 23. “I have always felt that a senator or representative belongs to a district and it’s citizens, rather than the opposite,” DeKruif said in a statement. “Because I will have to make a significant change for my family, I want to make sure its right. Regardless of the outcome, I’m proud of the work I’ve done for and with my constituents.”
DeKruif said he’s considering moving to run for an open seat in Senate District 20, which contains a majority of the cities in his current Senate district. He will make a final decision sometime this week.
On the flip side, GOP Rep. Carol McFarlane has put the ball in Republican House Majority Leader Matt Dean’s court. She announced over the weekend that she intends to seek reelection to the House District 38B seat. McFarlane says the new district holds about 80 percent of her old district, which she was paired in with Dean when the maps dropped last week. Dean hasn’t said what he plans to do.
A number of current House members also announced plans to jump into open Senate races. That includes GOP Rep. Bruce Anderson, who is running for the Senate District 29 seat being vacated by Sen. Amy Koch; GOP Rep. Torrey Westrom, who is running for an open seat in Senate District 12; and GOP Rep. Connie Doepke, who announced her plans to seek the Senate District 33 seat currently held by retiring Sen. Gen Olson. That could create some contention between Doepke and her neighboring GOP Rep. Steve Smith, who has also said he is interested in the Senate seat.
House members opting for the Senate has created several open seats in their old districts. Scott Dutcher, of Brandon, who serves on the Minnesota Republican Party’s executive committee, is running to succeed Westrom in House District 12A. Dutcher said if he gets the party’s endorsement to run for the House, he won’t seek another term on the executive committee when elections are held next month.
“We will create a better environment for jobs and businesses throughout Western Minnesota by encouraging entrepreneurs to invest in our people and our communities,” Dutcher said. “This will not be easy and it will not be quick, but with the right outlook of lower taxes and pro-growth, pro-jobs policies in Saint Paul, we can improve people’s lives here at home.”
Dave FitzSimmons, who is the chair of the 6th Congressional District GOP, has announced he’s running for the open House District 30B in Wright County. “As a proud conservative,” said FitzSimmons, “I will work tirelessly to represent this district with strong convictions based on the beliefs of life, liberty and smaller government. My vision is to make Minnesota government limited and less intrusive to create a stronger environment for Minnesota job growth.”
FitzSimmons was 2010 GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer’s campaign manager at the time he successfully won the party’s endorsement. FitzSimmons has Emmer’s support in his bid for the House seat.