Draft Congress map would keep Douglas County intact

Previous plan proposed splitting Parker, sparking protests

Mark Harden
mharden@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/7/21

Douglas County would almost entirely be represented by a single member of the U.S. House of Representatives under the latest map draft released by the state’s independent congressional …

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Draft Congress map would keep Douglas County intact

Previous plan proposed splitting Parker, sparking protests

Posted

Douglas County would almost entirely be represented by a single member of the U.S. House of Representatives under the latest map draft released by the state’s independent congressional redistricting commission.

The new proposed map, drafted by commission staff and released Sept. 3, would keep almost all of the county in the 4th Congressional District except for the westernmost part of Highlands Ranch and a small area east of E-470 abutting the Arapahoe County line. Those areas are now in the 6th District and would stay there under the new map.

An earlier map sparked ire among leaders in Parker because it proposed splitting the town, placing one portion, with about 25,000 town residents, in the 6th Congressional District and another, with 32,000 Parker residents, in the 7th District.

That prompted the Parker Town Council to vote to protest to the redistricting panel, asking that the town be represented by a single congressperson.

“Parker being split in half just doesn’t make sense,” Parker Mayor Jeff Toborg said at the time. Toborg later raised objections to splitting Parker at an Aug. 18 hearing of the congressional redistricting commission.

Colorado is undergoing a once-in-a-decade redistricting process for congressional and state legislative districts — including Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District — using 2020 census headcounts. This time, the lines are being drawn by twin independent redistricting commissions established by voters, rather than by state legislators.

The Colorado Constitution’s Amendment Y, passed in 2018, established the new redistricting commissions, one for congressional boundaries and the other for state legislative seats.

The 4th District currently is represented by Republican Ken Buck, while the congressman for the 6th District now is Democrat Jason Crow.

The redrawn 4th District would remain a “safe” seat for Republican candidates, according to an analysis of recent election results by the redistricting commission’s staff. It would include much of Colorado’s Eastern Plains.

But the redistricting process isn’t final. More draft maps are expected following further hearings before the congressional commission approves a final map Sept. 28, and then that map will be reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

This story draws on reporting by ­Elliott Wenzler.

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