Democrats would keep Colorado Statehouse under preliminary maps

Colorado mapmakers debuted their first proposal Tuesday morning for what the state’s legislative districts should look like as part of a once-in-a-decade overhaul.

Using Colorado’s 2020 U.S. Senate election results as a guide, mapmakers said new proposed lines would result in 39 Democrats and 26 Republicans elected to the Colorado House (Democrats currently control 41 seats). In the Senate, 20 of the proposed districts would favor Democrats and 15 would favor Republicans, which mirrors the current 20-15 split.

The proposed maps are only preliminary and are certain to change.

“These will never be approved by anyone,” Jessika Shipley, the legislative redistricting commission’s staff director, told commissioners. “They are merely a baseline starting point for conversations across the state.”

The most competitive Senate district, as proposed, would be in north metro Denver, including Brighton and Commerce City, favoring Republicans by 1.1%. Moderate GOP Sen. Kevin Priola currently represents the area.

The most competitive House district would be in Weld County, including much of Greeley and Evans, with District 64 favoring Republicans by 1.2%.

The commission’s next step is 32 public hearings across the state, held between July 9 and Aug. 28.

The commission will receive final census data in mid-August. Between that and the public input, the commission and its staff will adjust the map again and hold more public hearings.

A final map — for state districts and congressional districts — must be approved by the commission and Colorado Supreme Court by December.

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