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Redistricting Puts State Reps. Tillberry and Knuth in Same District

New 41A, which includes all of Fridley, is home to both incumbent DFLers.

New Minnesota political boundaries announced Tuesday put state Reps. Tom Tillberry and Kate Knuth in the same House district.

It's the once-a-decade redistricting process, not a game of musical chairs—but the effect is the same. The final plan leaves one seat in the legislature for two incumbents who represent parts of Fridley.

"Isn't that something?" said Tillberry. "This is definitely a scenario I never could have predicted."

The new lines also create a Senate district, 41, that encompasses all of the city of Fridley. (The city is now divided between Senate Districts 50 and 51.)

Tillberry, of Fridley, said he sees that as a plus: "It finally stopped this practice of splitting up Fridley," he said. "It gives the district kind of a Fridley focus."

But along with that comes House District 41A, taking in all of Fridley.

"It wasn't in any plan" proposed for redistricting, Tillberry said; the panel of judges charged with drawing new maps came up with it themselves.

He said he had expected more of a north-south orientation to new districts, possibly adding some of Blaine to his current District 51B; the new map takes away some of the areas of Spring Lake Park, Mounds View and Blaine that he currently represents.

Knuth, of New Brighton, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

"That's the way it goes," Tillberry said, adding that he'd prefer to talk about current policy issues before the Legislature: Redistricting talk "takes our eye off the ball.

"No matter who represents what district" the focus should be on creating jobs, he said.

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