Governor chooses a lobbyist, a mayor, and a Salazar to redraw legislative districts

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Monday his three appointments to the Colorado Reapportionment Commission. Those included a Republican lobbyist, and two Democrats–one a former mayor and the other one of Colorado’s Salazar brothers. Hickenlooper said he wanted a commission choosing the state’s future legislative districts that had equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats.

Hickenlooper appointed former state legislator Gayle A. Berry, a Republican from Grand Junction, who is now a lobbyist at the State Capitol from the 3rd Congressional District; former Mayor of Denver, Wellington Webb, from the 1st Congressional District; and Arnold Salazar, the brother of John and Ken Salazar and current executive director of the Colorado Heath Partnership in Alamosa, from the 3rd Congressional District.

“In making these appointments I have endeavored to designate individuals who have deep civic and community experience, and who also reflect the diversity of Colorado in terms of gender, ethnicity, geography and political affiliation,” Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to Chief Justice Bender and General Assembly leadership. “My three appointments have committed themselves to creating more competitive districts, which should therefore create more competitive elections wherever possible.”

Hickenlooper said the 11-person commission should not be weighted for Democrats or Republicans.

“When the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court makes the final four appointments to this Commission, I hope he will make sure that there is a precise balance between Democrats and Republicans,” Hickenlooper said. “That means appointing at least one unaffiliated voter to the The Colorado Reapportionment Commission, which will meet to redraw the boundaries of the state’s legislative districts.

“Mayor Webb has agreed to serve as an elder statesman with previous experience in the reapportionment process,” Hickenlooper said. “He served 30 years ago – the last time a reapportionment plan was approved without going to court. It’s our hope that Colorado will benefit from a similar result this time.”

Not to be confused with redistricting, which changes the boundaries of the state’s seven congressional districts, reapportionment redraws the districts for state senators and representatives.

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