The Brandon-Mander is back. In a new Congressional redistricting map submitted by the Democrats today to the Denver District Court, which is hearing the case, Senate President Brandon Shaffer's home in Longmont was carved back into the 4th Congressional district where Shaffer has declared his candidacy already (h/t Lynn Bartels). This is merely the latest installment of Shaffer's sad attempts to find himself a district in which incumbent Congressman Cory Gardner won't beat him by double digits.
It all began with the original maps submitted by Shaffer's subordinates on the Bipartisan Redistricting Commission — which was supposed to resolve the issue legislatively — in which Shaffer's home was meticulously drawn into the 4th CD, while shredding rural Colorado to pieces. This effort at gerrymandering the map to aid Shaffer was dubbed the "Brandon-Mander" on this site — a phrase that has dogged Shaffer ever since. The destruction of rural Colorado proved a sticking point for the GOP, who wouldn't budge on protecting the Eastern Plains and Western Slope as communities of interest not to be divided.
When Governor Hickenlooper refused to get his hands dirty and force a legislative compromise, the issue was pushed into the courts, where it has been resolved the past few go-rounds.
In a seeming last ditch effort to convince the political cognoscente that Democrats really do care about the electoral Hail Mary that is Brandon Shaffer's Congressional campaign, they decided to submit a final map today that put Shaffer's home back in the 4th CD.
While it's nice Shaffer may be able to avoid the tag of carpetbagger, the only signal that mattered was sent in the Democrats' first map, when they infamously drew his home out of the 4th CD.
Perhaps even more tellingly, the Democrats' top two lawyers conspired to trash Shaffer's chances in the court record, with the lead Democrat map-drawing lawyer Scott Martinez saying he couldn't imagine any Democrat winning in the 4th. We wonder whether Scott Martinez would say that no Democrat can win in this newly constructed 4th CD as well. After all, Martinez probably drew it.
That's not to say this move of Shaffer back into the Democrats' redistricting map is not news or doesn't matter. It is and it will.
The likely effect: Cory Gardner will raise more money.