Image courtesy Minnesota Secretary of State

New maps of Minnesota’s legislative and congressional voting districts have been released, and several changes will affect KLGR-area listeners.

The politically competitive 2nd District represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig got smaller and less rural.

Urban population growth resulted in more state legislative districts in the Twin Cities metro area and suburbs. Shrinking or stagnated populations in rural districts caused them to get larger geographically.

Southern Minnesota is now split into three Congressional districts, although the Mankato area remains in the first district. Brown County will be now divided between the first and seventh districts, and Le Sueur County will move to the second district.

In northern KLGR-area, House District 17B, which includes Willmar, is now House District 16B, and includes all of Kandiyohi County except for several townships in the southeast. Those will become part of a newly created District 16A, which is currently represented by Dean Urdahl of Grove City, and includes the southeast part of Kandiyohi County, the western half of Meeker County, and all of Renville and Chippewa Counties.

The new maps remain in effect for the next decade.