UPDATE: FOX 31′s Eli Stokols with his timely-as-usual coverage:
One Democratic operative gloated on Twitter at news of Swerdfeger’s decision that a “Republican trail of tears” has begun.
With Republicans holding just a one-seat majority in the statehouse, Swerdfeger’s exit could pave the way for Democrats to regain a majority in November.
The new map has also put House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, R-Monument, into the same district as Rep. Marsha Looper; and that situation has yet to be sorted out…
In the last hour, we’ve received word that state Sen. Keith King has “amicably” decided not to run against Senate Minatory Leader Bill Cadman in a primary that would otherwise have been forced by the reapportionment of their residences into the same district. Cadman’s leadership position, and King’s lengthy service made his exit a logical outcome.
It was also just reported via Twitter that state Rep. Keith Swerdfeger will not run for re-election in HD-47, facing a higher percentage of Democrats in his redrawn district–and a strong challenger in the form of Pueblo City Councilman Leroy Garcia, who had previously planned to run in HD-46 for CD-3 candidate Sal Pace’s seat. The Pueblo Chieftain noted in late November:
In the approved map, House District 47 snares part of Fremont County east of Canon City, three-fourths of Pueblo County and all of Otero County. It has higher Democratic and Hispanic populations than Swerdfeger’s current district.
No word yet on one of the bigger head-to-head incumbent matchups, Majority Leader Amy Stephens and Rep. Marsha Looper in HD-19–ordinarily we’d say the same pecking order rules would apply with Stephens as Cadman, but as you know, Stephens’ popularity is pretty far from universal. Stephens has already been told to expect a primary challenge on her right. On the Democratic side, we haven’t heard how incumbent Reps. Andy Kerr and Max Tyler intend to sort out their mutual residency in both HD-23 and open SD-22, but one of them will face Republican Ken Summers…for one of those seats. We’d bet on Kerr to run in SD-22 and Summers to take him on (it’s a competitive seat), but we don’t think it’s settled as of this writing.
Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman has a list of (we think) all of the incumbents drawn into the same districts–a situation not as bad as it appears at a glance, given the number who were already term-limited, retiring, or running elsewhere. But in a few cases, we’re going to have to wait for an age-old process of negotiation that we don’t get to observe run its course.
Apparently, first on the chopping block were guys named Keith.