Redistricting puts Bachmann and McCollum in same district, but Michele will run elsewhere

Despite living in the redrawn 4th District, Bachmann will run in the more suburban 6th District.EXPAND
Despite living in the redrawn 4th District, Bachmann will run in the more suburban 6th District.

The panel charged with drawing the state's new political boundaries released their long-awaiting redistricting maps this afternoon.

Unless you're a hardcore political wonk, there aren't too many newsworthy changes to discuss, with one exception -- the redrawn maps lumped together U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-St. Paul (formerly of the 4th congressional district) and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater (formerly of the 6th congressional district).

In other words, the redrawn maps have both McCollum's and Bachmann's residences in the same congressional district, presumably setting up a very entertaining showdown between the two this November. Right?

Wrong. Minutes after the redistricting maps were released, Bachmann announced that she'll actually seek reelection in the 6th district, despite the fact she no longer lives there. Candidates for U.S. Congress must live in-state, but don't have to live in the congressional district they're seeking to represent.

Bachmann said:

I'm announcing today that I will be running in the 6th Congressional district. I'll continue my service to the people in the district where I essentially went to junior high, high school, college, had my babies born and we built our business and we have our church and our family.

McCollum has never received less than 59 percent of the vote during her tenure as 4th District representative and would've presented a tough challenge for Bachmann. Furthermore, Bachmann's brand of fire-and-brimstone conservatism plays much better in the suburbs and exurbs of the 6th than it does in the more urban 4th, so her decision makes a lot of sense.

Now that aspiring politicians know the lay of the land, we should see the congressional races heat up in the coming weeks. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy a good old-fashioned political slugfest, those races won't include a McCollum vs. Bachmann matchup.

-- Bachmann may face tough reelection battle
-- Michele Bachmann will run again come hell or high water

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