Court petition questions Rep. Barrett’s residency in Dist. 32B

A voter in House District 32B is petitioning the Minnesota Supreme Court to have Rep. Bob Barrett removed from the election ballot in November due to a residency conflict.

Filing the claim in late July was Valerie Mondor, who claims the lawmaker’s primary residence is not the Lindstrom address that Barrett has listed with the Legislature. However, Barrett says he moved into a Lindstrom home after the legislative redistricting in 2012. This while he’s been attempting to sell a property in Shafer, which falls outside of the district, that he considers his residential homestead for property tax purposes, he explained.

The issue has the attention of both sides of the political aisle, since a high court ruling against the two-term Republican Barrett could give Democrats a chance at the seat in GOP territory and gaining possible majority control of the Minnesota House. A ruling is not expected any time soon.

A law firm that provides legal counsel for the DFL is assisting Mondor in her petition. The attorney representing Barrett is asking the Supreme Court to dismiss the case.

In a statement provided by Barrett this week: “I’m disappointed my political opponents are engaging in dirty politics instead of addressing the important issues facing our state including the unnecessary $90 million Senate office building and the forced unionization of small business child care providers that are so disrespectful to Minnesota taxpayers. I’m proud to live in Lindstrom, and I look forward to again earning the support of voters in the November election.”

Attempts at reaching Mondor and her legal counsel for comment were unsuccessful as of press time.

Almost 40,000 people live in District 32B, which mainly covers Chisago County including the cities of North Branch, Stacy, Wyoming, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City and Taylors Falls.

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