Thirteen days before its deadline, Colorado’s congressional redeployment panel is gathering around the Democratic commissioner’s plan to redraw US House districts.
The commission voted 8-4 on Monday to go ahead with Commissioner Martha Coleman’s outline and asked nonpartisan staff of the commission to formalize their views in a map, which was released Wednesday.
“As I listen to discussions, we are coming together and converging around things that I think will work,” Danny Moore, a Republican commissioner for Centennial, said last week about the Coleman map. said in.
Coleman’s proposed US House Map would create a new 8th district just north of Denver without dramatically changing the other seven districts in the other state. Denver and Colorado Springs will retain their district as the West Slope and Eastern Plains. One northern Colorado district would include the college cities of Boulder and Fort Collins, while two other districts would be in the suburbs west and east of Denver.
Wednesday’s map is the third map issued by the commission and differs significantly from their second map, which used a north–south configuration that was unpopular with commissioners and most citizens testifying at public hearings. The second map would have placed northwest Colorado in the same district as Boulder and would have placed Grand Junction in the same district as southeast Colorado.
During two lengthy meetings over the past week, which at times turned into bouts of bickering, commissioners across the political spectrum signaled support for Coleman’s map and a willingness to tinker with it until there was enough support for a vote.
“This map really represents agreement,” Julimarie Shepherd McLean, a Republican commissioner for Aurora, said during Monday’s meeting. “It tries to fold in a few key themes that we’ve heard about and gives us the opportunity to create more competitive districts.”
Approving the final map requires eight votes, which commissioners have until September 28 to send to the Colorado Supreme Court for review. If it doesn’t, state employees will draw one up and send it to court—a scenario that commissioners say would be a dereliction of their duty.
Under the third iteration of the proposed US House district map, five districts will favor Democrats: the Northern District, the Denver District and three suburban Denver Districts. Three districts will favor Republicans as of now: Colorado Springs, the Western Slope and the Eastern Plains. Only the new 8th district will be competitive, meaning the current members of Congress will almost certainly be re-elected next year.
The commission will debate the map on Thursday night. If he doesn’t vote to approve a map next week, his staff will prepare another map and release it on September 23. The commission can then vote on that map – or on any other map it chooses. If the commission cannot dispute eight votes for the map by September 28, the staff’s map as of September 23 will be sent to the Supreme Court.