MPR: When your high school is torn down, progress seems like a mixed blessing

I’ve got the feature commentary at Minnesota Public Radio today. This is a longer piece about my feelings seeing a picture of the old Cherry School being torn down and replaced. I mentioned this last week, with the picture.

Read and recommend the essay over at MPR. It helps!


  1. Hi Aaron. Your statement revolving around the more conservative nature of the 8th district, “mostly because its geographic growth has absorbed more conservative areas around its borders” is a generalization than factual. Do you have any statistics to support this or is it just loosely based on your limited political experience and a general feeling? Just curious, thanks.

  2. Looks like your comment was attached to the post above the one you intended. This is a common problem. I’ll respond here anyway.

    Yes, I generalized in this post, though I’ve looked into voting trends and demographics more closely in previous posts. In general, the “core” of the Range is gradually losing population. The people lost (death or relocation) are disproportionally Democrats. The people who stay are mostly DFL, but increasingly more conservative. The people who are relocating to the region are disproportionately more Republican. These is an educated opinion based not only on what I “see” but on my best interpretation of the numbers.

    When I say “around the borders” I am referring to the non-Range and non-Duluth portions that weren’t in the district back when Oberstar was first elected. Morrison, et.. al. These areas aren’t politically connected to the Range/Duluth sphere of influence. As you know, these are the areas that flipped hard for Cravaack last time, given a credible alternative to Oberstar. The district is mostly still controlled by the DFL-leaning Duluth and north, but will now have a counterbalance in the conservative-leaning south and west — areas increasingly bolstered by wealthier, older, newer residents.

    Just some thoughts. Kind of a big area, so I didn’t get into too many specifics.

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