News Flash

Wright County News

Posted on: August 25, 2021

Commissioner Districts Won't Be Subject to Redistricting

It’s been a long time coming, but for the first time since the 1970 Census, Wright County won’t have to redistrict the five commissioner districts. This week, Wright County received commissioner district population figures from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office and the numbers fell well within the limits that won’t require redistricting.

The rules of redistricting in state statute require that redistricting must take place if one or more commissioner districts is more than 10 percent above or below the average population of all five commissioner districts. The 2020 Census population total for Wright County is 141,337 – creating an average size for a commissioner district of 28,267. Under the state statute, redistricting would be required if one or more commissioner districts had a population of 31,094 or more or 25,440 or less.

The good news for Wright County is that none of the commissioner districts fell outside the limits. The population figures by district are as follows:

District 1 (Commissioner Christine Husom) – 28,258

District 2 (Commissioner Darek Vetsch) – 27,916

District 3 (Commissioner Mark Daleiden – 30,192

District 4 (Commissioner Mary Wetter) – 26,253

District 5 (Commissioner Mike Kaczmarek) – 28,718

Because all of the districts fell within the population parameters, for the first time in 50 years, Wright County won’t have to go through the laborious, expensive and often contentious process of drawing up new district lines – a process that has been controversial over the years.

Following the 2000 Census, Commissioner Ken Jude strenuously objected to the redrawing of his district, which removed his hometown of Maple Lake, where he had a strong base of support. Following the 2010 Census, four of the five sitting commissioners were placed in two districts – Pat Sawatzke and Rose Thelen in District 2 and Jack Russek and Dick Mattson in District 5. In that election cycle, Russek didn’t file for re-election because he didn’t feel it was fair for him to run against Mattson. Mattson would end up losing in the primary and the District 5 seat was won by Charlie Borrell. Sawatzke and Thelen ran against one another with Sawatzke coming away with the election victory.

The rationale behind putting sitting commissioners in the same district was to address an issue Wright County has had for decades when it comes to apportioning the population into commissioner districts – the I-94 corridor.

The growth along I-94, specifically in the Otsego and St. Michael areas, has consistently seen the northeastern portion of Wright County growing disproportionately larger than other areas of the county. None of the current commissioners were on the county board when the decision was made, but understood the reasoning – even if it meant that at least two sitting commissioners would be eliminated. As it turned out, following the 2012 elections, there were four new commissioners joining the county board simultaneously.

One of those was current County Board Chairman Mark Daleiden, who could empathize with the rationale involved – even though it created two districts that didn’t having a sitting commissioner, including his own – which is comprised of the Cities of Otsego and Dayton and one precinct in the City of St. Michael.

“You have to give the commissioners from back in that time credit,” Daleiden said. “They went into the process looking to avoid having to do another redistricting 10 years later. They intentionally made my district as small as it could because they took into account the growth that they knew was going to continue in that area. When I was elected, my district was the smallest. Now it’s the largest.”

And, for the first post-Census period in a half-century, Wright County won’t have to rewrite its commissioner district boundaries.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Wright County News

Officer-Involved Shooting in Otsego

Posted on: August 7, 2022

National Night Out is Tonight

Posted on: August 2, 2022

HHS Thanks United Way for Donation

Posted on: July 12, 2022

HHS Looking for Foster Parents

Posted on: June 29, 2022

HHS Office Closed Tuesday

Posted on: June 20, 2022

HHS Expresses Thanks for Donation

Posted on: June 20, 2022

County Has Job Openings Available

Posted on: June 16, 2022

MnDOT Announces I-94 Lane Closures

Posted on: June 13, 2022

HHS Has Drive-Thru Drop Box

Posted on: June 13, 2022

Election Field for 2022 Set

Posted on: June 1, 2022

Candidate Filing Ends Today

Posted on: May 31, 2022

Jury Impaneled in Ulrich Case

Posted on: May 20, 2022

No Mow May Has Begun

Posted on: May 2, 2022

Earth Day Hike Postponed One Week

Posted on: April 21, 2022

License Center Drive-Thru Now Open

Posted on: April 15, 2022

2022 Candidate Filing Opens May 17

Posted on: April 5, 2022

License Center Accepting Appointments

Posted on: March 31, 2022

HHS Now Open in New Government Center

Posted on: March 23, 2022

2022 Township Election Results

Posted on: March 11, 2022

Township Day Coming Tomorrow

Posted on: March 7, 2022

DNR Has EagleCam Up and Running

Posted on: February 23, 2022

CMRP Offering Placemaking Microgrants

Posted on: February 1, 2022

Buffalo Strong Day Coming Feb. 9

Posted on: January 31, 2022

County Launches Redesigned Website

Posted on: January 20, 2022

MnDOT Reopens I-94 in Albertville

Posted on: January 20, 2022

Husom Named County Board Chair for 2022

Posted on: January 5, 2022

All County Offices Closed Friday, Dec. 24

Posted on: December 23, 2021

DNR Issues Guidelines for Being Out on Ice

Posted on: December 22, 2021

Passport Fee to Raise by $20 Next Week

Posted on: December 21, 2021

Unprecedented Weather Day Expected Today

Posted on: December 15, 2021

Random Drug Testing Request for Proposals

Posted on: December 14, 2021

Deadline to File for Homestead Approaching

Posted on: November 23, 2021

MnDOT Provides Update on I-94 Construction

Posted on: November 16, 2021

Santa Coming to Bertram Park Dec. 4

Posted on: November 3, 2021

License Center Camera System Down

Posted on: November 3, 2021

DNR Releases Updated Fall Color Map

Posted on: October 1, 2021

County Board Approves 2022 Preliminary Levy

Posted on: September 28, 2021

Second Half Property Taxes Due Oct. 15

Posted on: September 22, 2021

DPS Labor Day DWI Campaign a Success

Posted on: September 15, 2021

Public Health Releases COVID-19 Dashboard

Posted on: September 7, 2021

Extension Provides Crop Update

Posted on: August 23, 2021

DNR Releases 2021 Waterfowl Handbook

Posted on: August 10, 2021