Dispute over Minnesota legislator's place of residence goes to state high court
Minnesota’s highest court is considering whether a state legislator’s name should be removed from the ballot this November because of questions about whether he actually lives in the district he represents.
The case heard Tuesday by the Minnesota Supreme Court concerns Rep. Bob Barrett, a Republican who lists a Taylors Falls home as his official address and owns another home in nearby Shafer, a city located just outside of legislative District 32B. A group of activists who believe that Barrett lives in the Shafer home staked out the Taylors Falls address, gathered what they said was evidence that no one was living on the property and petitioned to get Barrett removed from the ballot in the race against DFL challenger Laurie Warner.
Ramsey County District Judge George Stephenson held a hearing on the matter last month and determined that the evidence in the case establishes “clearly and convincingly that Mr. Barrett did not have the requisite physical presence” at the Taylors Falls address in the time frame required by state law. Legislators must reside in their districts for six months before the election.