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New lines shake-up local representation

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State legislative redistricting following the 2010 Census results has divided Wadena and Otter Tail counties into separate districts.

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Most of Wadena County, Todd County, the southern panhandle of Cass County and most of Morrison County will be in District 9 with open seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

For the November 2012 elections, current District 10 Minnesota Senator Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, was assigned to the same new district - District 8 - as Minnesota Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria. Along with most of Otter Tail County, District 8 includes part of Douglas County.

Former State Senator Dan Skogen, who announced his intent to run again for the November elections, said that even though his address is Hewitt, he would actually run for District 8 since his residence half a mile into Otter Tail County.

"I'll seek the [DFL] endorsement of that Senate district now," Skogen said, adding that if Hoffman and Ingebrigtsen chose to run off in a primary, he could meet the winner in the general election.

"I was disappointed, to be honest, that I lost Wadena County," Skogen said. "I work here, and I live right here, and it's the people that I would like to represent, but I'm sure I'll get to know some people in Douglas County too and that will work out."

He said he enjoys campaigning and looks forward to meeting new people.

Skogen said the redistricting might make a challenge to local governments now having to work with two legislative districts, including the city of Wadena, which sits on both Wadena and Otter Tail counties.

State senators usually serve a four-year term, but serve two-year terms on years ending in zero because of redistricting.

Hoffman did not return a call for comment.

State Representative Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail, has announced that he does not plan to seek re-election in 2012. In the newly drawn District 9A, Mark Anderson has announced he will seek the seat.

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