Redistricting proposal would box out GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, putting her home in Democrats’ district

Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado quickly became one of the Republican Party’s rising stars among former President Donald Trump’s supporters after she won her November election, but it’s possible her first term may be her last, at least for the short run.

That’s because her current home address may become part of a leftist Democratic lawmaker’s district under a re-mapping proposal stemming from the 2020 Census, according to multiple reports.

The state’s nonpartisan redistricting committee has put forth a new congressional map “that would create a new swing seat in the northern Denver suburbs and lump” Boebert’s district “into a Boulder-based solidly Democratic seat currently held by liberal Rep. Joe Neguse,” the Associated Press reported Friday.

The proposal was issued Friday by the commission and will impact how congressional districts are zoned following the U.S. Census, which is conducted every 10 years. Per the Constitution, every resident in the country is counted, not just citizens.

The AP noted that the commission’s proposal is the first one under a voter-approved model in 2018 after the panel initially released a potential map in June. The Friday proposal, however, was based on actual 2020 Census numbers that must be used to redraw districts.

Now that the proposed map has been issued, the next step in the process is for the state to conduct several hearings as well as formulate a map of state congressional districts, the AP added. Both are likely to change, and probably to a great extent, in the coming weeks as the panel scrambles to approve maps by an end-of-September deadline.

The map released this week maintains four mostly safe Democratic seats and also preserves three others that are solid red. But it would add one swing district — the 8th — that would stretch from Adams County to Greely, a region that went for Democrats by 1.9 percent in the 2020 Senate race.

“That could make the final breakdown of the state’s congressional districts 4-4, an underwhelming split for Democrats in a state they won by 13 points in last year’s presidential election,” the AP added.

Nevertheless, state Democrats still say the new map is more beneficial to the party than the first one proposed since it “splits the conservative Western Slope into two separate districts,” the newswire said.

Grand Junction and the region below will remain in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, which now extends to Pueblo, Huerfano County, and the southeastern plains — the district Boebert represents.

But now, where she lives in Garfield County will be folded into a newly-shaped 2nd Congressional District, which is represented by Neguse. It extends west to the Wyoming border but most of the population comes from liberal cities including Boulder and Fort Collins.

“The new process is designed to gather public comment to improve upon the preliminary plan and, at first blush, this map seems to have moved in that direction,” Curtis Hubbard, a Democratic strategist, told the AP.

All is not lost for Boebert, however. She’ll have the choice of moving south back into her district if she doesn’t want to try her luck with a larger group of Democrat-leaning voters in the newly formed district. Or, because the Constitution does not require that candidates live in the district they recommend, she could run again for the 3rd District from where she now lives.

Republicans have expressed angst over the new map, especially how it will likely divide conservative rural parts of the state. But they also said things could be more dire, the AP noted.

“As a Coloradan, I hate the map,” former State Sen. Greg Brophy, who lives in Wray, told the AP. “As a Republican, it could be a lot worse.”

Neguse, 37, who is in his second term, having first been elected in 2018. He was one of the House Democrats who assisted in the management of then-President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.

He took to Twitter on Friday to voice his opinion about the newly proposed map.

“So, if the redistricting map released tonight holds, looks like I may be running for re-election against … Lauren Boebert,” he said.

Jon Dougherty

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