Latest Legislative District Maps Group Summit County into Current Senate and House Districts
The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission on Thursday, September 23, released a new set of maps of the state’s legislative districts, refining the location of Summit County. For the most part, community leaders are happy with the changes.
Take, for example, the State House District Map. The first drawing originally divided the county into two districts along Interstate 70. The north side of the county was grouped into House District 26 while the south side was grouped together with House District 46.
Summit County Commissioner Josh Blanchard was not in favor of the previous map, mainly because he felt it would make it more difficult to advocate with state officials.
âOur community is relatively small geographically,â Blanchard said. âYou can have someone living in one city, working in another with a mailing address in another city, so it gets a bit complicated when you’re trying to advocate for specific issues when someone may actually have interests. in what could be two districts. “
Blanchard, who lives in Silverthorne, said it would also have been difficult as an elected official to embrace all of the community’s interests, whether locally or through the state. Blanchard would have been regrouped in House District 26 while the rest of the community he represents could have been in House District 46.
The second House District map no longer divides the county and instead groups it into House District 61, which is currently represented by Representative Julie McCluskie, a Democrat from Dillon. In the last map, Summit is grouped together with the counties of Lake, Park, Chaffee, and Grand. Summit County Republican Secretary Kim McGahey said he believes this is of much more benefit to the county.
âI think all of Summit County should be in one district,â McGahey said. âWe are homogeneous enough not to have separate interests. Even though the northern part of the county is ranching and the southern part of the county is skiing, they are still linked because the economy works so closely together.
Blanchard also said he prefers the last map much more than if the county is divided. He pointed out that the majority of the county’s workforce live near or outside county boundaries – in areas like Alma, Fairplay, Leadville and Kremmling – and that the clustering of communities of interest is ideal.
âWhen it comes to the interests of our workforce, I think that makes a lot of sense,â Blanchard said. âWe also experience a lot of the same housing issues in these communities. We know that when it comes to social infrastructure and social support, there are many foundations that support the work that takes place in these communities. â¦ I think we have demonstrated that there are common interests within these five congruent counties. I think the way it’s proposed now – (House) District 61 – makes a lot of sense.
Blanchard also had the same thoughts for the latest state Senate district map. In the first drawing, Summit County was grouped into Senate District 5 with counties like Lake, Pikin, Eagle, and some of Garfield. In the second drawing, the county is cordoned off in Senate District 8, with Clear Creek, Eagle, Grand, Garfield, Routt, Jackson, and more.
Blanchard said he liked the plan as well and maintained Summit County with the rest of the I-70 corridor and with the majority of other ski resorts, most of which are related to the same issues, such as transportation. and housing.
Silverthorne City Manager Ryan Hyland said he supported the latest map mainly because much of I-70 was retained. In addition to being the Managing Director of Silverthorne, he is also the Chairman of the I-70 Coalition. In the last map, Senate District 8 encompasses Clear Creek, Summit, and Eagle counties, all of which are crossed by the highway.
âWhen you look at the I-70 mountain corridor, transportation, the economy, outdoor recreation, commerce, tourismâ¦ these are all huge issues that really line up,â Hyland said. “From that perspective, I think both maps maintain communities of interest.”
McGahey has said he would like the county to stay as much as possible with the West Slope counties during the redistribution of the State Senate and House as well as the United States House of Representatives.
âI think for all the redistributionâ¦ Summit County should be included in the West Slope in these three redistribution maps because Summit County has nothing in common with Boulder County and Jefferson County other than the money these people spend here. “said McGahey. âWe have more in common with the West Slope when it comes to recreation, tourism, economy, transport, agriculture and just lifestyle in general. We have very little in common with the Front Range.
Neither the State Senate nor the House District Maps group the Summit together with Boulder or Jefferson counties, but the third iteration of the Congressional Redistribution Map does. On the last map, Summit County is in the 2nd Congressional District, with counties like Boulder, Grand, and Clear Creek.
Sen. Bob Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale who represents Senate District 8, and McCluskie had little to say about the new maps.
“Colorado residents voted for a redistribution process to be led by an independent commission,” McCluskie wrote in an email, adding that she was “pleased with the opportunities people have had and the high levels of ‘community engagement’.
Rankin wrote in an email that he respects the process.
The Congressional Redistribution Commission will continue to seek comments on the proposal. A final project must be completed by October 1. The Colorado Supreme Court is due to approve plans by Dec. 15 for congressional redistribution and Dec. 29 for legislative redistribution.
Community members can still submit public comments also on Redistricting.Colorado.gov.
The 2022 elections for the United States House of Representatives and Colorado General Assembly will be held in the new districts.