politicking

In this week's episode, legislative reporter Pat Poblete, chief legislative reporter Marianne Goodland and reporter Ernest Luning break down the latest preliminary legislative redistricting maps that were released Tuesday.

When it comes to the state Senate, Goodland said there isn't a "strong benefit to either party."

"No matter how you look at these preliminary maps," she said, "Democrats don't look to gain at most maybe one seat, and could lose maybe one or two. Republicans would pretty much maintain the status quo."

However, she said, no matter how much these maps change, incumbents appear to not be a priority.

"The most interesting race, I think," Goodland said, "will be in the Senate district in Weld County and portions of Boulder county."

The current preliminary map would put two senators in the same district, and "that leaves somebody out of the mix," Goodland said. 

Although there isn't much change for the Senate, Poblete notes that in the House, the preliminary maps are drawing incumbents into the same districts.

"There are some really powerful lawmakers that might be ending up running against each other in primaries come the next election cycle," he said.

That includes Joint Budget Committee vice chair Julie McCluskie of Dillon, who is now in the same district as Rep. Dylan Roberts, who was a prime sponsor of the Colorado Option legislation.

"The thing that's interesting about that, beyond the power dynamic, is that Democrats simply don't have a lot of rural representation," Poblete said, "and these are two of their more prominent rural lawmakers."

As far as Republican representatives, on the Eastern Plains, Rep. Rod Pelton and Rep. Richard Holtorf drawn into the same district.

Holtorf, however, told Goodland he thought they would each be able to keep their respective seat, telling her, "We'll figure out a way to make this work."

"Because these maps are so preliminary," Goodland said, "it's very likely that they're going to change."

Luning also emphasized how these maps are only a draft, adding that the commissioners will be spending the next two months collecting public input and will receive final population figures from the census in mid-August.

"A few thousand residents here and there can really change 65 lines around the state," Luning said.

"But the maps' overall composition can tell us a whole lot about where Colorado is politically," he added, "and where the state might be headed in the next decade, which party has the advantage."

Related reading:

 To see previous episodes, click here.

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