Garfield, Mesa County politicians dissatisfied with redistribution proposal | politics
Several Western Slope politicians are unhappy with a proposal from the state’s congressional election process that would divide the Western Slope into different congressional districts.
A personnel card released by the Independent Reallocation Commission on September 3 divides the northern part of western Colorado into the 2nd
Garfield County commissioners released a statement Friday saying they were “disappointed and appalled” by the proposal.
“This split ruthlessly dilutes the voice and therefore the representation of rural, western Garfield County among the urban centers of Boulder, Broomfield and parts of Larimer Counties with which Garfield County has little in common,” the statement said.
Garfield County’s commissioners said the proposal ignored water catchment areas and the state’s natural geography.
“If conflicts arise between competing interests, Garfield County will have no support from Congress,” the statement said.
The statement called the proposal “blatant gerrymandering” and said it would destroy the voice of Garfield County at the federal level.
“It weakens our common policy concerns about public land, agricultural issues, housing, environmental concerns, education, public health, water quality and transport,” the statement said.
The statement ended with Garfield County remaining within the 3rd Congressional District.
Scott McInnis, a Mesa County commissioner and former member of Congress for Nov.
The split would further concentrate power in the Denver area and likely “move a congressman off the Western Slope,” McInnis said.
“They’re taking over the voice of western Colorado,” McInnis said. “Democrat or Republican.”
McInnis said the card, if adopted, would deprive the rural communities of any chance of representation.
“Patronize us, pat us on the shoulder, tell us you love us, and then take us off,” said McInnis.
McInnis said that if he had a say, he wouldn’t be doing much tinkering on the western slope at all.
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-Silt) spoke about district redistribution at Club 20’s Fall Conference in Grand Junction on Saturday. The personnel card published at the beginning of this month would Boebert in the 2.
“I’m not allowed to say too much about relocation, but I will say that we need to put our water first and we don’t need to include certain areas of Colorado with the waters of western Colorado.”
Alan Philp, a Republican lobbyist who also spoke about the redistribution process at Club 20, said things will move very quickly over the next two weeks.
The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission has scheduled three meetings and three public hearings starting Tuesday next week.