ST PAUL, Minn. — A special court-appointed panel of five judges has released its redistricting maps for Minnesota's congressional and legislative districts, based on results from the 2020 census.
The Minnesota Supreme Court ordered the special panel to decide on the new district lines following a series of legal challenges which claimed that the current districts (decided in 2012) were no longer proportional, or were unconstitutional in their layout.
According to the congressional map released Tuesday, the 2nd Congressional District, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, would see some of the most dramatic changes with the district shifting to the west. That would send Goodhue and Winona counties into the 1st District (currently represented by Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn), and the 2nd would take over portions of Rice and Le Sueur counties currently in the 1st District. Dakota and Scott counties will remain in the 2nd District.
Minnesota's 8th District, currently represented by Republican Rep. Pete Stauber, would also expand south into more of the Twin Cites metro, adding Stillwater as well as expanding west to take over portions of Beltrami, Clearwater, Mahnomen and Becker counties currently served by Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach in the 7th District.
The redistricting panel noted that Minnesota's increasingly diverse population was among the key components in redrawing the district maps.
"We recognize that the population growth that enabled Minnesota to retain its eight congressional districts was driven by our increased BIPOC population," the panel wrote in its final plan. "This growth is reflected in the racial and ethnic composition of the new districts, which protect the equal opportunity of racial, ethnic, and language minorities to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice, whether alone or in alliance with others."
The final report also noted the efforts to keep "political subdivisions" together.
"When possible, we have avoided splitting political subdivisions, especially small cities and rural townships," the panel explained. "The new congressional districts are convenient and contiguous."
Following the release of the new district maps, Rep. Angie Craig announced her re-election bid in the newly-drawn 2nd District.
"While I am, of course, disappointed that the new boundaries do not include all of the cities and towns that I currently represent in Congress, I look forward to being the voice of several new communities across Minnesota," Craig said in a statement.
Republican Tyler Kistner, who lost to Craig in 2020, plans to challenge her again in 2022.
"Our campaign is excited for the opportunity to grow our grassroots movement by listening to and serving hardworking Minnesota families in Dakota, Scott, Rice, southern Washington, and Le Sueur counties," Kistner said in a statement.
The panel also released new district lines for the state's legislative districts, which can be viewed in detail on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.
WATCH: KARE 11's coverage as the redistricting process began in November 2021: