by David Bradford
Delta County Republican Central Committee Chairman
Thanks to those of you who took the time and effort to vote in the November 2, 2021 election. Remember - We can win, only if we participate. At our last DCRCC monthly meeting on November 2, 2021, I promised to report on the results of the Redistricting and cover the candidates that have already declared for the 2022 election. In this blog I’ll cover the results of the Redistricting Commission.
Status of Redistricting
Well the Redistricting Commissions submitted their final maps to the Colorado Supreme Court. The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously approved the Congressional Districts map on November 1, 2021; then unanimously approved the State Senate and House Districts map on November 15, 2021. So unless someone files a lawsuit to contest the final maps, we now know what the Congressional and State Legislative Districts will look like for the next ten years.
As I noted last month, the CD3 map seems workable with Delta County in the heart of CD3 and the District as a whole seems fairly logical. However, I don’t believe Delta County fared as well in the Final State Senate and House Redistricting maps. Delta County is split – being in two different Senate Districts and two different House Districts. Delta County is split between Senate Districts 5 & 7 and House Districts 54 and 58.
For reference for the following discussion, Delta County is currently part of Congressional District 3 (CD 3), State Senate District 5 (SD 5), and split between House Districts 54 (HD 54 - West part of Delta County) and 61 (HD 61- East part of Delta County). The following is a more detailed discussion of the new districts created by the Legislative Redistricting Commission:
Senate District 5 now consists of southeast Garfield County, Pitkin County, Delta County, except for Cedaredge & Orchard City areas (all Delta County Precincts, except Precincts 11,12,13 &14, are in SD 5), Gunnison County, northeast Montrose County, and Hinsdale County.
Senate District 5 has 109,087 registered voters; with 33,004 Republicans (30.3%); 26,353 Democrats (24.2%); and 47,718 Unaffiliated voters (43.7%).
Current SD 5 State Senator Kerry Donovan (D) will continue to serve until her term expires on January 11, 2023. In addition, State Senators Don Coram (R) of Montrose (former senate district 6) and Bob Rankin (R) of Carbondale (former Senate District 8) are now both located within the new SD 5. Coram’s term will expire on January 11, 2023 and Bob Rankin’s term will expire on January 8, 2025. Technically the part of Delta County located within the new SD 5 is now represented by three state senators. Since Donovan now lives outside of the new SD 5 as well as being term-limited, she cannot run for re-election in the district. Will Coram and Rankin have a run-off election to see who represents the new SD 5? Who knows and it will take a while to sort it all out. Stay tuned to see who will be the next state senator representing SD 5 until the 2024 elections.
Senate District 7 consists of Mesa County and northwest Delta County – the Cedaredge & Orchard City areas (Precincts 11,12,13 &14).
Senate District 7 has 111,544 registered voters; with 44,293 Republicans (39.7%); 18,487 Democrats (16.8%); and 46,608 Unaffiliated voters (41.8%).
Current Incumbent is Ray Scott (R), whose term expires on January 11, 2023. He is also term limited. Janice Rich (R), current HD55 Representative (City of Grand Junction) has already filed to run for the Republican nomination for the new SD 7.
The two House Districts that Delta County is split between are House District 54 and House District 58.
House District 54 consists of Mesa County, except for the City of Grand Junction, and the west half of Delta County (Precincts 1-14).
HD 54 has 60,105 registered voters; with 27,205 Republicans (43.4%); 8,671 Democrats (13.8%); and 25,607 Unaffiliated voters (41%).
Matt Soper (R) of Delta is the incumbent in HD 54. His term expires on January 11, 2023. The election for the Colorado House will be Tuesday November 8, 2022. There are rumors that there will be another candidate to challenge him in the Republican primary, although there is no one else currently registered with the Colorado Secretary of State.
House District 58 consists of the east half of Delta County (Precincts 15-20), Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Dolores and Hindsdale Counties and the northwest corner of Montezuma County.
HD 58 has 66,268 registered voters; with 23,331 Republicans (35.2%); 14,950 Democrats (22.6%); and 26,832 Unaffiliated voters (40.5%).
Marc Catlin (R) of Montrose is the current incumbent of HD 58. His term expires on January 11, 2023. The election for the Colorado House will be Tuesday November 8, 2022.
While I am disappointed that Delta County was split, for both the Senate and the House; keeping the west half of the county with Mesa County in SD 7 is a good thing. And the new District configuration for the House Districts is a major improvement, especially for the eastern half of the County. The old HD 61, which included the east half of Delta County, was a terrible abomination – a ridiculous gerrymander. The new districts - CD 3, SD 5, SD 7, HD 54 and HD 58 are all currently represented by Republicans. We need to work diligently to keep Republican candidates in these five seats. District Organizational Committees will be formed shortly to work on nominating candidates for the 2022 election. We need to be involved in this. Other counties will be taking the lead in issuing the calls and hosting these assemblies. However DCRCC will have representation. As I find out more information on this I’ll let you all know.
In a Zoom call with Colorado State Republican Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown we had a discussion on the Redistricting. The Analysts/Consultants for the State Republican Party (Frank McNulty and Alan Phillips) told us that they believe the various Districts created by the Redistricting Commissions are a major improvement from the 2011 Redistricting. They feel that the Commission created more competitive Districts, where neither Party has a lock on a majority in the Legislature. They also said all the people who testified and made comments during the Redistricting process made a very big difference in the outcome. So thank you all, who participated in the Redistricting process.
There are currently 20 Democrat State Senators to 15 Republican State Senators. The analysts/consultants for the Colorado Republican Party believe that with the new Senate Districts that 22 of the 35 Senate Districts can elect Republican candidates – SD 5 and SD 7 are two of the 22 seats.
There are currently 41 Democrat State Representatives to 24 Republican State Representatives. The analysts/consultants believe the Republican Party can elect Republican candidates in 35 of the 65 House Districts – HD 54 and 58 are two of the 35 seats.
So let us hope we now have a more level playing field and let us get ready to work at electing Republican candidates to these critical governmental offices!