New Senate map divides valley into three statehouse districts

Rep. Laura Bradford won’t be R-Collbran anymore.

That is, if Colorado House and Senate district maps that were approved by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission earlier this month become law.

The 11-member panel officially filed those maps Tuesday with the Colorado Supreme Court. With it came more details about the maps that weren’t visible in earlier versions, including exactly where a third House district would come into Mesa County.

Currently, the county has two House districts, represented by Bradford and Rep. Ray Scott, a Grand Junction Republican who represents House District 55.

Those new details revealed to Bradford for the first time that the entire town of Collbran no longer would be in her district, and she’s not at all pleased about it. She is considering filing a brief with the high court challenging that part of the House map, but she wants to find out how best to change it so everyone agrees.

“I think the responsibility for the work needs to rely on me because, in the big scheme of things, this is a flyspeck on a football field to them,” said Bradford, who lives less than a mile south of the new district line. “I’ve got my work cut out for me to figure out if I can find an easy fix, and I can just hand them a plan and everyone likes it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t expect them to do the work.”

At this stage of the reapportionment process, filing a brief to the court is the only option to get maps changed.

Bonnie Petersen, executive director of Club 20, said the Western Slope advocacy organization has not discussed the latest maps and has no plans at this time to challenge any part of them.

She said the group earlier this summer advised the commission to make sure all Western Slope counties remain in Western Slope districts, which it did.

“I live north of town, and I can’t even tell which House district my property is in,” Petersen said. “I have not had any calls on the reapportionment at this point. Having said that ... we believe it’s important to keep western Colorado community of interest intact. For a number of years, that’s always been Club 20’s position.”

The court will accept arguments and evidence for changes to the maps until Nov. 9. The court could remand the maps back to the commission for specific changes or approve it outright.


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