Hearings slated for two proposed legislative maps

As they stand now, the proposed new boundaries for state House and Senate districts could force some interesting races next year.

If they want to remain in the Colorado Legislature, Lakewood Reps. Andy Kerr, a Democrat, and Ken Summers, a Republican, would have to run against each other because Summer no longer would live in the district he represents now.

The same would be true for Denver Democratic Sens. Pat Steadman and Joyce Foster, whose district would move to outside the city.

But the race that would pit two of the most diametrically opposed members of the Legislature would be between Western Slope Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, and Boulder Democrat Claire Levy. That’s because the map takes Grand County out of House District 57, where Baumgardner lives, and puts it into House District 13, the district Levy represents.

There’s no way to know if any of that will happen, said former Grand Junction state Rep. Gayle Berry, who sits on the 11-member commission that is deciding those lines.

“I’m trying to get Grand County put back into the Western Slope, but so far I just don’t have the votes,” she said. “I don’t know if I can get it fixed, but I do know this: The only constant about those maps is they will change.”

The commission is meeting Monday, for what could be the last time, to finalize two proposed maps for the House and Senate before it takes them on the road in a series of public hearings.

Berry said the commission expects to get an earful about why the maps should change.

Rep. Roger Wilson, the Glenwood Springs Democrat whose district would be dramatically altered to include half of Delta County, said he plans to argue against splitting Gunnison County in two. Currently, his House District 61 includes that county, but he would share it with Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, if the maps stand.

“The latest I saw, they were cutting out the lower half of Gunnison County, which is not very good for the folks in Crested Butte or Gunnison,” Wilson said. “I feel they need to be whole in terms of representation, so I’m going to support them on that. I am very happy to represent the folks in Delta County, but I would hate to see that be the reason that Gunnison was split.”


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