A Minnesota judicial panel on Tuesday released new political district lines that place U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, a Republican, and Betty McCollum, a Democrat, into the same congressional district, according to Bachmann's office.
Bachmann said that she will run for her old 6th District seat even though newly drawn congressional maps put her home in the 4th District, currently represented by McCollum.
"I'm announcing today that I will be running in the 6th Congressional district. I'll continue my service to the people in the district where I essentially went to junior high, high school, college, had my babies born and we built our business and we have our church and our family," Bachmann said.
Members of Congress don't have to live in the district they represent, so Bachmann is free to run wherever she likes in Minnesota. She said she has not yet decided if she will move her home into the new district.
"That decision will be made. I'm not sure what we will be doing on that front," she said.
In a fundraising email, she accused the court of "liberal bias."
Meanwhile, in a statement, McCollum accused Bachmann of "running away."
McCollum was in the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday, hours after new maps showed her district spreading east into Stillwater.
“First of all, I am running and I am running to win,” she said. “I am very excited about the new 4th Congressional District.”
McCollum’s new district would grow by about 20 percent and include more of Washington County.
“It’s a good district for me to get out and meet the families and talk to them about creating more jobs,” she said. “I am working on making sure our children have the best education possible and am moving forward on getting the economy going.”
McCollum appeared relieved by the new maps, having not been happy with changes to her district proposed by Republicans and even her own party.
“I was very concerned that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party put out very partisan maps,” she said. “The judges have drawn these maps, after having taken public input and holding hearings, and I look forward to my new district. But first I have to earn their vote and earn their support. Like I said, I am going run and I am going to run to win.”
McCollum said she plans to highlight her work on transportation issues, which she said will ignite long-term economic growth for her district and the state.
McCollum has already had a loud voice on an issue gripping Stillwater, a proposal to build a new taxpayer funded bridge connecting the area to Wisconsin.
“Stillwater deserves to have their bridge replaced,” she said. “But they need to have it replaced in a way that is fiscally responsible. … So, nothing has changed.”
The new congressional and legislative boundary lines also will determine partisan power for a decade to come.
In the congressional maps, the panel appears to have made minimal changes to equalize population throughout the state's eight congressional districts. The court kept the same basic shapes they districts have had since 2002, rather than stretching the districts along east-west lines as some had suggested.
While congressional candidates need not live in the district they run to represent, state legislative candidates must reside in the district they want to represent for at least six months before the November 6 Election Day. That gives lawmakers and candidates until the first week in May to move into a new district if their current district is unappealing or has them matched against a legislative colleague.
View the court's maps below and check this post often through the day for updates.