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13 days to go, Colorado congressional cartographers strike deal

Thirteen days before its final deadline, the Colorado Congressional Redistribution Panel is rallying around a Democratic commissioner’s plan to redesign the United States House districts.

The committee voted 8-4 Monday to move forward with Commissioner Martha Coleman’s plan and asked non-partisan staff on the committee to formalize their ideas in a map, which was released on Wednesday.

“As I listen to the discussions, we come together and unite around things that I think will work,” Commissioner Danny Moore, a Republican from Centennial, said of Coleman’s card last week.

Coleman’s proposed American house map would create a new 8th district just north of Denver without drastically changing the other seven districts in the other state. Denver and Colorado Springs would retain their own districts, as would the Western Slope and the Eastern Plains. One district in northern Colorado would include the college towns of Boulder and Fort Collins, while two other districts would be located in the suburbs just west and east of Denver.

Wednesday’s map is the third released by the commission and differs significantly from its second map, which used a north-south configuration unpopular with commissioners and most citizens who testified in public hearings. The second map would have placed Northwest Colorado in the same neighborhood as Boulder and Grand Junction in the same neighborhood as Southeast Colorado.

In two lengthy meetings over the past week that have at times turned into bickering, commissioners from all walks of life signaled their support for Coleman’s map and their willingness to change it until there is have sufficient support for a vote.

“This card really represents a compromise,” Commissioner JulieMarie Shepherd Macklin, a Republican from Aurora, said at Monday’s meeting. “It tries to incorporate some major themes that we’ve heard and gives us the opportunity to create more competitive districts. “