Colorado Congressional districts: State will gain its first seat in 20 years, but where yet to be determined

Colorado will gain a seat in Congress starting in 2023, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday — a widely expected change that will reshape the state’s congressional districts and give Coloradans a stronger voice in Washington, D.C.

The creation of an 8th Congressional District follows a decade of population gains along the Front Range. It marks the first time in 20 years — since the 7th District’s creation north and west of Denver in 2001 — that Colorado will gain representation.

It isn’t clear where the 8th District will be placed. That’s the job of the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission, a panel of a dozen citizens who are tasked with reshaping the state’s congressional map for the next decade. The commission, which was chosen by random drawing, has until December to draw the map, and the 8th Congressional District seat will be up for election in 2022.

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are reapportioned every 10 years in accordance with Census results on population. States that have lost population or gained only modestly will lose seats, while fast-growing states add.

States gaining a seat are Colorado, Oregon, Montana, Florida, North Carolina and Texas, which will add two. States that will lose a seat are California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Commissioners and political observers across Colorado anticipated Monday’s announcement for months. In 2019, the legislature set aside $6 million for Census outreach with hopes of counting more Coloradans and adding a congressional seat, and early Census estimates hinted at an eighth district.

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