The incumbent-stacking reconfiguration of District 25 left a representation vacuum in the previously much gerrymandered southeast corner of Minnehaha County. Sioux Falls eastside Districts 10 and 14 couldn’t expand to the Minnesota border, as they had to take on more compact footprints to reckon with growth in their own neighborhoods. The Sparrow map, drawn by the Senate and imposed upon a grudging House earlier this month, thus carved a new, nearly square district out of the southeastern eighth of Minnehaha County:
District 25 moved north and west, while District 10 and District 14 both retreated to more compact areas closer to the heart of Sioux Falls. District 2 fills the gap left by those three districts, claiming a near square bounded by 258th Street on the north, Minnesota on the east, Lincoln County/57th Street on the south, and a bumpy western line sort of following 470th Avenue and Veterans Parkway, with an extra bite west to Sycamore Avenue between Madison and 18th Streets.
The new 2 is home to just one Republican incumbent, Representative Doug Barthel (see map, red circle), who currently serves District 10. Barthel’s current Housemate, Rep. Steven Haugaard, was pulled north to new 25 and is running for Governor. District 10’s Senator Maggie Sutton remains in the new 10. The other 25ers who currently represent southeastern Minnehaha are all from Dell Rapids and thus stay in new 25. None of the incumbents or 2020 contenders for District 14 live in the new 2. The only 2020 candidates remaining in the new 2 who could challenge Barthel are Brandon Democrats Michelle Hentschel and Nichole Cauwels.
District 2 takes its number from the sprawling rural northeastern district that Senate boss Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown) wisely dissolved and dispersed into more compact districts. But where Lee’s lines have split the Greenfields, Lana and Brock, from their familial domination of old 2, the Sparrow map could bring the Schoenbeck family back together. On November 18, eight days after the Legislature approved the Sparrow map, the Secretary of State received a Statement of Organization from the Schoenbeck for House campaign. That’s Jacob Schoenbeck, good golfing son of Lee Schoenbeck, now happily ensconced under that red star on East 45th Street, less than a mile inside the new District 2 border.
According to the 2016–2018 stats on Dave’s Redistricting, the tool used by the Legislature to draw its maps, Jacob has the opportunity to run in a new District 2 that is 65.2% Republican. And with only one Republican incumbent in its sensible square boundaries, District 2 offers Jacob a clear path to join Dad in Pierre and establish Schoenbeckian dominion over both chambers. (The takeover could be complete if we could just get Lee’s daughter Erin to run for Governor….)