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Maplewood's Slawik poised to compete in new Woodbury district

Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood, will be running in the new House District 53A, which includes Woodbury and portion of Maplewood and Oakdale. Bulletin file photo

The political landscape in and around Woodbury is beginning to take shape with the election season about to kick into a higher gear.

That began last week when Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo, announced plans to move to Woodbury, where he plans to run in the new Senate District 53.

Redrawn lines in his current home district left him competing with current Sen. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake.

"As an incumbent, it places friends in the same districts. And decisions need to be made," Lillie said of the predicament.

Meanwhile, the new lines left Woodbury practically as its own Senate district, but without an incumbent senator.

Lillie joins Rep. Andrea Kieffer in the Republican District 53 field. If re-elected, Kieffer's new district would be the eastern portion of Woodbury - House District 53B.

No Democrats have yet filed for that seat specifically, though Ann Marie Metzger, who lives in the new House District 53 had registered earlier this year for House District 56A, which is currently held by Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Lake Elmo.

So far, one candidate - Rep. Nora Slawik - has emerged in House District 53A, which includes western Woodbury, Landfall, a portion of Maplewood and a portion of Oakdale.

Slawik is a familiar face to some Woodbury voters.

The seven-term Democratic lawmaker served her first two terms under old district lines that also comprised a portion of Woodbury.

"I'm looking forward to running in Woodbury and working with people there," Slawik said. "I think they're very open-minded and a true suburb."

Democrats from the new Senate district will hold their endorsing convention on March 31.

Local Republicans will hold their endorsing convention March 24.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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