GOP-drawn redistricting map unfurled
DENVER — House Republicans unveiled their version for how the state’s congressional districts should look Tuesday, countering one Senate Democrats proposed last week.
But the House bill that would outline those districts isn’t one of the five maps Republicans released in a now-defunct bipartisan panel that tried to draw those lines. Instead, Republicans made some changes they said incorporated some of the ideas called for by Democrats.
“This is a point in this redistricting discussion that I did not want to reach, but we are at a point where the House and the Senate are introducing two different maps,” said House Speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch. “I am also concerned that throughout this entire process it has been the intent of the Senate Democrats, some House Democrats and the Democrat establishment to drive this to the courts.”
After McNulty praised his party’s map and criticized the Democratic one, Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, took aim at the Republican map.
Heath said the only thing good about the new GOP map was that all five Republicans who sat on the redistricting committee that he co-chaired favored it. That wasn’t the case before, he said.
“Last week, the Republicans admitted to deliberately drawing districts to give their party an unfair political advantage and solidify their political majority for the next decade,” Heath said. “Colorado voters deserve fair and competitive districts that don’t create congressmen or women for life, and we have steadfastly maintained that.”
The Republican’s latest map keeps district lines similar to how they exist today, including maintaining a GOP-voter majority in four of the state’s seven congressional districts. Two of the districts that are held by Democratic congressman would have more unaffiliated voters than from either party, while only one favors Democrats.
The Democratic map includes a majority of Republican voters in the 3rd and 5th congressional districts, while giving its own party a majority in the 1st and 6th districts. The remaining three districts have a majority of unaffiliated voters.
A newly formed House Redistricting Committee is to hold it’s first hearing on the GOP map Thursday, but Heath still hasn’t scheduled a hearing on the Democratic map in the Senate.
Heath said he likely won’t unless there’s some assurance that at least one map has a chance to make it through the entire Legislature.
, which is ending this year’s session a week from today.