Range profile eyes political culture, trends of storied region

Session Weekly’s Nick Busse pens a profile of the Iron Range legislative delegation worth reading. Perhaps repetitive for political insiders, “Ranger in a Strange Land” is a great primer for those who have wondered about the mindset of the fabled Range Delegation, which held its annual “Ranger Party” in St. Paul last Tuesday.

For me the most notable parts of the story are the subtle ways that new members Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick (R-Grand Rapids) and Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) change the dynamic. Melin is of a whole new generation raised after the Perpich years. McElfatrick represents the burgeoning conservatism of the “lakes region” portion of the traditional Taconite Tax Relief Area.”

The above graphic is from Session Weekly. It’s good to see the geography of these seats. This map is going to change significantly after redistricting, most likely not to the political advantage of those who live along the iron formation. The bulk of the people living in the region depicted in the map live near all those tightly bunched lines in the middle. Canada, Lake Superior and sparsely populated western districts will prevent the same redistricting model from continuing.

BONUS: Iron Range lawmakers got a favorable editorial in today’s Star Tribune. A press conference on that topic is scheduled after this afternoon’s IRRRB meeting in Eveleth.


  1. Okay where are 12A – John Ward (DFL) and 12B – Mike Lemieur (R)?

  2. An interesting effort might be to actually place the photos of the legislators where they actually live. Dill lives nowhere near where his photo places him in the graphic nor does Bakk – I’d love to see this graphic with the reps placed where they actually live.

  3. Clowns to left of me, clowns to the right of me……… Stuck in the middle with YOU!!!!


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