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Rep. didn’t let redistrcting become distraction

February 23, 2012
Marshall Independent

Republican representative Chris Swedzinski took the exact approach to redistricting that we should expect from our elected officials. He didn't spend time and energy worrying about what effect redistricting will have on the district he represents. He wasn't thinking about this summer's campaign. He stayed focused on the tasks at hand, while letting the redistricting chips fall where they may.

Swedzinski, of Ghent, seems to be more active this year than in his first year at the state Capitol and kept his attention squarely focused on his job as a state representative as the big day of redistricting approached.

Swedzinski has chief-authored 11 bills already this session; last year, he authored six the entire session. He's also signed on to 21 other bills this session. Of the bills he has authored, a number of them carry regional significance. He's worked to get funding approved for Southwest Minnesota State University's science lab renovations, the proposed Southwest Regional Amateur Sports Facility, and MERIT Center expansion.

Do we agree with everything Swedzinski does or says? No. We don't, for example, understand the need for a constitutional amendment to prohibit regular sessions in even-numbered years - legislation Swedzinski is trying to push through - but it's refreshing to know that he is getting his hands dirty this session and didn't get carried away with all the hype surrounding the redistricting process. Even after learning his district would be gaining two counties, he kept his focus on his duties at the Capitol.

There will be a time when Swedzinski, like his colleagues at the Capitol on both sides of the aisle, will need to bear down and focus on his campaign and introduce himself to his new constituents. But now is not the time to worry about that, and Swedzinski, although he could still be considered a bit wet behind the ears at the Capitol, knows it.



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