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Madsen will have to run for re-election despite his term not expiring until 2014. Tribune photo

Kandiyohi County, Minn., OKs redistricting map

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a new map Tuesday that shapes the five county commissioner districts for the next decade.

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The redistricting was required to make sure there is equal population in each of the districts the commissioners are elected to represent.

The data was based on the 2010 Census, which showed a loss in population in District 5 in the southern half of the county.

That district is currently represented by Commissioner Harlan Madsen.

The approved plan was the simplest of the seven options considered. It moves Willmar Township, with a population of 513, from District 2, currently represented by Commissioner Richard Larson, into Madsen's district.

The shift means all five districts will fall within the population parameters of between 7,603 and 9,293.

"It's the simplest way and the cleanest way," Larson said.

"It makes the most sense," Commissioner Dennis Peterson added.

Because the change in population in District 5 is greater than 5 percent of the district's average population, Madsen will be required to run for election this fall, even though his current term does not expire until 2014.

A couple of the proposals would have rearranged the county districts so much that all five commissioners would have been required to run for election.

The terms of Commissioners Larson and Peterson expire this year. They are not seeking re-election.

Several individuals have already indicated they intend to run for Larson's and Peterson's seat.

So far no one's indicated intention to challenge Madsen this fall.

Potential candidates may have been waiting until Madsen's district was defined.

The commissioners agreed to make the terms of all three seats on the ballot this fall four-year terms.

Filing for public office begins May 22.

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