By Presley Church
August 29, 2022
A quick view of Colorado’s 8th and newest Congressional District.
The 2020 census demonstrated Colorado’s population growth calling for a new Congressional district.
That process was covered in a Science Note back in May 2021: https://co-lsen.org/2021/05/07/colorado-is-getting-a-new-congressional-district-heres-what-you-need-to-know/
It’s now August 2022 and we have more insight into Colorado’s 8th (and newest) Congressional District ahead of November’s midterm elections.
Where is CO-8?
Colorado’s Front Range population has been growing in the past decade, and voters are getting priced out of the City of Denver. Growth has spread along the I-25 corridor, where the 8th District has been drawn to include Adams, Larimer, and Weld Counties.
Colorado opted to utilize a third-party redistricting committee rather than the state legislature to create the new congressional district making it the first state to do so.
New District Map:
Who are the Voters?
This new district has 428,307 active registered voters according to the Colorado Sun, making it the district with the smallest number of active voters in Colorado. Of these voters, 28% are registered Democrats, 25% are registered Republicans, and 44% are unaffiliated. Colorado’s 8th is being watched all around the country with so many unaffiliated voters deciding the political leanings of the district.
21% of Colorado’s residents are Hispanic according to the 2020 census, but 38.8% of residents in the 8th district are Hispanic, making it the largest proportion of Hispanic or Latinx constituents in the state.
The census also found that 52% of residents of the district are non-Hispanic white, 4.1% Asian, and 2.3% Black. This compared to 70% white, 3.5% Asian, and 4.1% Black at the state level.
These voters are spread across Adams, Larimer, and Weld Counties with two thirds of the district’s population living in Adams County. In conversation with the Colorado Sun, J. Miles Coleman of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan election prognosticator at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said the 8th District’s “race could end up a tug of war between Democrats in Adams and Republicans in Weld…Given the district’s large Hispanic population, I’m interested to see how that vote breaks down next year. Probably more importantly, it could be a test ground for both parties’ outreach to minorities.” Election forecasters are largely calling this race a toss up, though some say it leans slightly right.
Who are the candidates?
June’s Democratic and Republican Primaries declared who will go head to head in November:
Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer
Kirkmeyer served 19 years as the Weld County Commissioner serving as a state senator for the 23rd district. Prior to that she owned a Dairy farm. She is a 4th generation Coloradan who attended the University of Colorado.
In 2013, Kirkmeyer was part of a push amongst 11 northern counties pushing to secede from Colorado and form a 51st state.
Democrat Yadira Caraveo
Caraveo is a pediatrician and state senator for the 31st district. She too was born, raised, and educated in Colorado (at Regis University), the daughter of Mexican immigrants.
Stay tuned as this congressional race grows closer, shifting the political landscape of Colorado.
You can learn more about Colorado’s 7 other Congressional Districts here: