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Roberts calls proposed Senate District 8 ‘politically competitive seat’ he’ll likely run for in 2022

October 6, 2021, 1:22 pm

State Rep. Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat who currently represents Eagle and Routt counties, said there’s still quite a bit of work to be done by the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission but that the third and possibly final version of the state Senate map is a competitive one that has most of Eagle County moving into Senate District 8 — a seat he will likely run for in 2022.

State Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle
Dylan Roberts

“There is still a long way to go before the maps are finalized – the commission needs to try to get to at least eight votes on this map (or another map) and then there will likely be court challenges,” Roberts said in an email Wednesday. “But if this were the map, I would likely run for SD8 [in 2022]. It is certainly a politically competitive seat and one of the geographically largest and most politically diverse in the state.”

The new-look SD8 would lean much more toward a Democrat with the inclusion of the most populous parts of Eagle County, along with Summit County and Roberts’ home county of Routt (he grew up in Steamboat Springs). Previously, Eagle County was in SD5, which is currently represented. by the term-limited state Sen. Kerry Donovan of Vail.

Under the latest proposal, just the southwest corner of Eagle County in the Roaring Fork Valley would be in SD5.

“Almost my entire current house district is within this proposed senate district, and I am proud of my bipartisan track record of achieving results at the Capitol on some of the most pressing issues for Colorado’s mountain and rural communities, including lowering the cost of health care, promoting rural economic development, protecting our water resources, investing in wildfire mitigation and prevention, and leading significant progress on affordable housing,” Roberts added. “It would be a privilege to earn the trust of the voters in this new district, and I will work very hard to do that over the next 13 months.”

Here’s a press release sent out Tuesday by the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission:

DENVER — The third legislative staff plans can be viewed or downloaded at https://redistricting.colorado.gov/content/staff-legislative-3.

The state senate and state house plans were prepared using 2020 Census Data, public comments and input from the legislative commission. The plans will be presented virtuallyto the commission on Oct. 6 at 5:00 p.m. The legislative commission must approve the final plan by Oct. 12. 

As stated in the Colorado Constitution, the new Legislative districts must: 

  • Have equal population, as required by the U.S. Constitution, with a population deviation of no more than 5 percent between the most populous and the least populous district in each chamber;
  • Be composed of contiguous geographic areas;
  • Comply with the federal “Voting Rights Act of 1965,” as amended;
  • Preserve whole communities of interest and whole political subdivisions, such as counties, cities, and towns; however, a division of a county, city, city and county, or town is permitted where a community of interest’s legislative issues are more essential to the fair and effective representation of residents of the district. When the commission divides a county, city, city and county, or town, it shall minimize the number of divisions of that county, city, city and county, or town;
  • Be as compact as is reasonably possible; 
  • and thereafter, maximize the number of politically competitive districts.

Districts cannot be drawn for the purpose of:

  • Protecting incumbents in or declared candidates for the Colorado General Assembly or any political party; or
  • Denying or abridging the right of any citizen to vote on account of that person’s race or membership in a language minority group, including diluting the impact of that racial or language minority group’s electoral influence.

Written public comments will remain open and available throughout the consideration of final plans. To be adopted, the plans must be voted on and approved by eight of the 12 commissioners, including two unaffiliated commissioners. The plans must be adopted by the commission by Oct. 12 and submitted by nonpartisan legislative staff to the Colorado Supreme Court by Oct. 15.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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