State Commission votes to move Longmont to Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District
Longmont will join most of Boulder County in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, if the Colorado Supreme Court accepts a map approved by the state’s Independent Congressional Redistribution Commission earlier this week.
For the past 10 years, Longmont, which spans Weld County, has been in the 4th District, currently represented by US Representative Ken Buck, a Republican from Windsor.
Everything except the northeastern part of the Longmont area of Boulder County has been represented during this decade by members of Congress from District 2, currently US Representative Joe Neguse, a Democrat from Lafayette.
Late Tuesday night, members of the commission charged with defining new congressional district boundaries to account for population changes and other factors voted 11 to 1 to approve a plan with new boundaries for eight. Colorado congressional districts in the 2022 general election.
The proposed map lines removing Longmont from the 4th district and adding it to the 2nd must be reviewed and approved by the Colorado Supreme Court, which received the plan on Friday.
Boulder County Democratic Party Chairman Raffi Mercuri has suggested that residents of Longmont are more politically compatible with their neighbors than they were when included in the Republican-dominated 4th District.
Mercuri said the final plan approved by the Congressional Independent Redistribution Commission – one of many panelists examined – was “a strong example of democracy at work and compromise at work.”
Boulder County Republican Party Chairman Therese Watson said in an email Friday, “BOCO Republicans appreciate the work the commission is doing to keep communities together. However, our Longmont members are understandably disappointed to be moved to CD2, as it moves them to a highly favored “D” district; and they will miss the performance they have had over the past decade.
Incumbents Buck and Neguse and their staff did not respond to Friday emails seeking feedback on the card, in which Buck would continue to reside in the 4th and Neguse in the 2nd.
The new map chosen by the commission would move several communities in southwest Weld County – Dacono, Firestone, Frederick and Mead – out of the 4th District and place them in the newly created 8th Congressional District. The boundaries of this district would extend from north of Denver to north of Greeley, as well as Thornton, Brighton, the Adams County part of Westminster and Commerce City.
Watson, of Boulder County Republicans, said, “We are also pleased with the commission’s work to create a competitive 8th Congressional District.”
County Weld is said to be divided between the 4th and 8th arrondissements, and most of Broomfield is in the 7th arrondissement, according to the commission’s map.
According to the proposed map, the 2nd Congressional District would include part of Weld County of Erie as well as part of Boulder County. It would also include all of Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Routt and Summit counties and parts of Eagle, Jefferson and Larimer counties.
According to the Colorado Constitution, the state Supreme Court will review the submitted plan and determine if it meets the following criteria:
- have an equal population, justifying every variance, no matter how small, as required by the Constitution of the United States;
- be made up of contiguous geographic areas;
- comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act 1965, as amended;
- to preserve entire communities of interest and entire political subdivisions, such as counties, towns and villages;
- be as compact as is reasonably possible, and
- subsequently, maximize the number of politically competitive districts.
Districts cannot be drawn to protect incumbents or declared candidates of the US House of Representatives or any political party; or deny or restrict the right to vote of any citizen because of their race or membership of a linguistic minority group, including by diluting the impact of the electoral influence of this racial or linguistic minority group.
The Colorado Supreme Court will issue an opinion no later than November 1. If it determines that the plan constitutes an abuse of discretion in applying or failing to apply the above criteria, the court may return the plan to the commission with grounds for disapproval. The commission would then have 12 days to hold a hearing that includes public testimony and to return an adopted plan that resolves the grounds for the court’s disapproval. The Supreme Court would have until December 15 to approve the revised plan.
The Colorado Independent Congressional Redistribution Commission can be found at tinyurl.com/86kf2d94.