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Population shifts will force more elections in Dakota County; filings open May 22

Population growth and changes in Dakota County will mean more county commissioner elections this fall.

At its April 24 meeting, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners approved the redistricting plan for commissioner districts. The adoption means that six of the seven districts will have elections this year. District 2, currently represented by Kathleen Gaylord of South St. Paul, is the lone exception. An election in this district is not needed because the population shift is less than 5 percent from the old to the new district boundary.

Dakota County's population is estimated at 398,000. Based on that figure, commissioner districts should have about 57,000 residents.

According to 2010 census figures, District 1, currently represented by Joseph Harris of Hastings, had the most growth. This area includes the cities of Farmington and Hastings, and most of the townships.

Harris announced last summer that he would not seek re-election to the county board. He has been on the board since 1981.

Commissioner Thomas Egan of Eagan represents the Third District, which now includes part of Eagan, Mendota, Mendota Heights and Lilydale.

Commissioner Nancy Schouweiler of Inver Grove Heights represents the Fourth District, which now includes most of Rosemount and Inver Grove Heights and portions of Eagan.

District 5, represented by Liz Workman of Burnsville, includes the city of Burnsville.

District 6, represented by Paul Kraus of Lakeville, includes the city of Lakeville.

District 7, represented by Willis Branning of Apple Valley, includes the city of Apple Valley and a small portion of Rosemount.

As part of the commissioners' approval last, week, they also decided that commissioners elected this year in District 1 and 6 shall be elected for two-year terms, and commissioners elected in districts 3,4, 5 and 7 shall be elected for four-year terms.

Filings for county offices opens May 22.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606