Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday that while he did not have any plans to veto a redistricting bill, he did feel that any redistricting plan needed to provide for more competitive districts.
At a press conference where Hickenlooper recalled his first 100 days in office, press seemed more concerned about what the governor planned to do in the future.
As part of that discussion Hickenlooper said that he had not yet given up on the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Redistricting’s efforts to draw up new lines for Colorado congressional representation.
“I still hold hope that both sides can come together and find the right compromise,” Hickenlooper said. He said that with so many different ways to draw the maps, Democrats and Republicans needed a bit more time.
The Redistricting Committee was put together at the beginning of the session in an attempt to circumvent the partisan battles and costly court cases that have followed congressional redistricting in Colorado’s past. Those hopes were tightly held onto until both sides unveiled their maps earlier this week. The maps showed little similarity as Republicans called for Western Slope and Eastern Plains voting blocks and Democrats called for competitive districts.
Republican maps solidified two Democratic and three Republican congressional districts. Democrats created one safe district for both parties. In doing so, they greatly changed the current congressional districts, causing deep concerns for some.
While a bipartisan map has been proposed, lines still have not been drawn, as Republicans have so far said that competitiveness should not be a factor in the equation, giving Democrats no starting place for compromise.
Asked by the Colorado Independent after the press conference if there was a map that he would veto, Hickenlooper said “no,” and said he felt it was important to give the committee the time they needed to come to a bipartisan solution if possible.
However, Hickenlooper said that making districts more competitive had not only been part of his stance since the beginning but that it was one of the main reasons for redistricting in the first place.
“It makes people want to vote. It makes people want to run. The more competitive the districts the better off we are,” Hickenlooper told the Independent.
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