by Ralph Routon
We reported in last week's Independent the possibility of new state Legislature district maps creating battles between two pairs of area Republican incumbents.
Today, those possible confrontations look like reality, after the Colorado Supreme Court upheld new maps for the state House and Senate districts, as approved two weeks ago by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission.
The maps change boundaries radically for some House and Senate districts in El Paso County. Rep. Amy Stephens of Monument, the House Majority Leader, has moved from HD 20 to HD 19, where Rep. Marsha Looper of Calhan is the popular incumbent. Looper already has said she's definitely running for re-election in 2012, so it could be Stephens vs. Looper in the Republican primary in June.
On the Senate side, Sen. Keith King and Sen. Bill Cadman, both of Colorado Springs, now will be in the same district, leaving one local district without an incumbent.
Initially, the state commission had approved maps that would not have been as disruptive, but the state Supreme Court shot those down, saying they weren't sufficient in following guidelines that call for splitting cities and counties as little as possible.