Minnesota, it is reported, will be the only state in the union with a divided Legislature - Democrats in control of the House and Republicans in charge of the Senate. But the results of the Nov. 6 election show the Minnesota divide is not political as much as it is geographic.

A map of the governor's election results shows a sea of red in rural Minnesota, where counties by and large voted for Republican Jeff Johnson. Small, concentrated areas of blue around the large cities and suburbs show where Gov.-elect Tim Walz gained the votes necessary to win. Democratic dominance in the suburbs is what gave the DFL its controlling margin in the House.

Walz's goal is for "one Minnesota," a state where government works for the benefit of all. It may be impossible to find common ground in areas like transportation infrastructure, where an us-versus-them mentality long has dominated the funding debate. But if Walz can find the common ground on issues that affect us all - like job creation, workforce development, and education - he may have a chance to bridge the divide.


- The Independent, Marshall, Minn.