Ruling Strikes District That CU Candidate Lost

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A state appeals court last week struck down the Republican-drawn congressional redistricting that helped the bankers' candidate, Robert Beauprez, defeat credit union-backed Michael Feeley last year in the nation's closest congressional race for the state's new congressional district.

In a 5-to-2 vote, the appellate court ruled the congressional map drawn by the Republican-controlled state Assembly and Republican Gov. Bill Owens violated the state constitution, which, the court ruled, allows just one new map after every decennial census. The redrawing of the congressional districts just two years after the last redistricting ended up giving Republicans five of the state's seven congressional seats.

Beauprez, the chairman of Heritage Bank and former state Republican Party chair, defeated Feeley, the former Democratic Senate Minority Leader, by just 121 votes, to represent a district carefully drawn to favor the Republican candidate. Feeley had strong support from both CUNA and Colorado credit unions, including the endorsement of then-CUNA Chairman David Maus, president of Denver-based Public Service CU.

A similar battle is going on in Texas where Republicans have redrawn the congressional districts with the aim of capturing as many as six more of the state's 32 House seats. That battle is also being challenged in court.

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