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Kelash Considers Choice: Keep His Home or His People?

Redistricting will have deep impacts on Richfield's legislative field.

Kelash Considers Choice: Keep His Home or His People?

Editor's Note: Capitol Review is a weekly look at what your state legislators are doing at the Minnesota Capitol—how they're voting, the bills they're writing and the issues they're getting behind.

Of Richfield’s three state legislators, State Sen. Kelash (DFL-63) faces the most significant decision in the months ahead.

Following the , Kelash’s current Minneapolis home—located just a few blocks north of Richfield's border—now resides in District 60. Because Minnesota law requires that state legislators reside within the district they represent, should Kelash decide to run for office again in 2012, he would be forced to either run against fellow Minneapolis Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-60) or move from the home he built with his own hands 25 years ago.

“It’s a little early to talk about a decision on running in 2012,” said the senator, who now represents Richfield and parts of both Minneapolis and Bloomington.

Despite saying he hadn’t made any firm decisions, Kelash told Patch he would consider moving across the border into Richfield so he and Dibble wouldn’t have to face each other.

"About half of the new district is what I used to represent, so I don't feel like a carpetbagger or anything,” Kelash said of the possible move.

Kelash would have until May 5 to move into the new District 50, which now has an open senate seat.  

While  Rep. Linda Slocum (DFL-63B) quickly  in 2012, Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-63A) will no longer represent Richfield following the 2012 elections.

“I’m really disappointed to not be representing Richfield anymore,” Thissen said. “It was a great honor to represent that community.”

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