Moffat remains the same as redistricting commission approves congressional map for court consideration
Colorado’s independent redistricting committee voted on Tuesday to approve its latest draft of the state’s congressional districts, leaving just a Supreme Court decision between the draft and finalization. The draft, which was necessitated by population increase bringing about a new congressional district, passed 11-1.
Moffat County will stay in District 3, currently represented by Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert. Boebert’s district will lose Routt County, and with it Steamboat Springs, however, which will be moving to the more Democratic-leaning District 2, currently represented by Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse.
Doug Winters, president of the Moffat County Republican Party, said that population changes in the state led to the new districts, but when it comes to the United States Congress, it would not change much — if anything — for Boebert’s hold on the Western Slope. Though District 3 is losing Routt, Winters said it would not have a large impact on how the district votes.
“I’ve spoken to a number of folks over there (in rural Routt County), and I’m sure they’re disappointed,” Winters said. “But they do have Steamboat Springs proper, and there’s probably more in common from a recreational standpoint.”
Earlier versions of the map grouped Moffat County and other northern parts of the Western Slope with Boulder, as the southern part of the district remained essentially the same. Many criticized that splitting the Slope and adding a more urban area would not benefit residents in either part of Colorado.
“I think one of the biggest takeaways (from those maps) is that Boulder is a unique community just like Moffat County,” Winters said. “We have two entirely different concerns. They’re more of the Front Range. We’re a lot more rural and agricultural. We don’t have the same comparisons from that standpoint. Being lumped in with Larimer and Boulder counties would wash out our voices. What economically drives them is completely different from what drives us.”
The approved map has the entire Western Slope still grouped, as well as most of southern Colorado. According to reporting from the Colorado Sun, the new District 3 would have approximately 721,000 people in it, with 25% of its population being Hispanic, and Republicans in the district will have a solid lead of about 9.3 percentage points advantage over Democrats (based on recent elections). Colorado state Senator Kerry Donovan, who is running against Boebert, is from Vail, which now lives in District 2.
A representative from Moffat County Democrats could not be reached by the time of publication.
Though the United States congressional seat will not face a change, Winters added that more local government at the state level is more of a concern, saying that ongoing redistricting work at the state level is so far “not necessarily ideal.”
“With state congress, it will cause some concerns for our community. Right now, Moffat County is in District 57,” Winters said. “In the maps I have looked at, it moves to District 26, and we lose Garfield County.”
District 26 is represented by Democratic Representative Dylan Roberts, who represents Routt and Eagle Counties. Currently, there is no final state district map, and that will be finalized by Oct. 15.
Back to the U.S. congressional map, in addition to changes in northwest Colorado, there will be brand new District 8. The new district will include north Denver suburbs of Thornton, Commerce City, Brighton and Northglenn, as well as most of Westminster and all of Greeley.
The approved map must be sent to the Supreme Court by Friday, and outside parties have seven days to file objections. The court will then hold oral arguments at 1 p.m. on Oct. 12. If the court sends the map back to the commission, the commission will have 12 days to hold a public hearing and approve a new map that meets the court’s directions.
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