WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Mark Kennedy still can't decide who to try to represent next year, people south of the Twin Cities or north.
Kennedy, who grew up in Pequot Lakes, canceled a Friday news conference in St. Paul, where he planned to announce which congressional district he'll seek re-election in, the 2nd or the 6th. An aide said he'll decide next week but no date has been set for an announcement.
Kennedy, a Republican in his first term representing the 2nd District, is forced to choose because a court-designed redistricting plan put his rural Watertown home in the new 6th District.
Kennedy said he needed more time "to fully absorb the input I have been given and have adequate time to receive the counsel of my family."
He's under pressure from some Republican party leaders to challenge the incumbent 6th District congressman, Democrat Bill Luther. Ron Eibensteiner, chairman of the state Republican Party, said he advised Kennedy to take on Luther.
Under the political map changes, the 6th District was rejiggered to cover territory north of the Twin Cities from the Wisconsin border to St. Cloud, taking in areas that have leaned more toward Republican candidates.
The new 2nd District, meanwhile, will be comprised of suburbs south of Twin Cities, rather than the largely rural southwest corner of the state that it's been for the past 10 years.
Complicating the picture for Kennedy is the prospect of Republican primary competition.
John Kline, a retired Marine colonel from Lakeville who lost to Luther in the 6th District in 1998 and 2000, said he plans to run in the new 2nd. And Dan Becker, a chemical dependency counselor in St. Cloud who planned to challenge Rep. Collin Peterson in the 7th District, is now considering a run in the new 6th.
But Kennedy isn't the only one who may face a primary foe.
A Democratic state representative from St. Cloud, Joe Opatz, said he's also considering a run in the 6th District, posing a same-party challenge to Luther. In a statement, he said he thought the district would be a good fit for a moderate Democrat.
Luther's chief of staff Bob Decheine was surprised to hear about Opatz. "We will talk to him and see what he's interested in doing," Decheine said. "He's doing a great job as a state rep."
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