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Udall steps into redistricting lawsuit

May 24, 2003

Rocky Mountain News

By John J. Sanko

The plot thickens. If Secretary of State Donetta Davidson doesn't like being sued by her own attorney, she may get to face a new plaintiff against her.

Rep. Mark Udall filed papers with the Colorado Supreme Court on Friday asking that he be allowed to intervene in the lawsuit that Attorney General Ken Salazar filed over a Republican congressional redistricting plan.

In the latest wrinkle in the case, which grows more complex, the Democrat from Boulder also asked that he become the principle plaintiff if the court says Salazar cannot sue the secretary of state, whom Salazar's office normally represents in court.

"There's no question that Mark has standing to bring this question before the Colorado Supreme Court," said his spokesman, Alan Salazar.

"If the court rules against the attorney general on that question, then we have our own standing," Alan Salazar said. "It could be Udall vs. Davidson all the way to the United States Supreme Court."

The congressional redistricting map in dispute was pushed through the legislature in its final three days over the objections of Democrats.

It solidifies the GOP hold on five of the seven seats it now controls by increasing Republican numbers in two at-risk districts - the new suburban 7th and the West Slope 3rd. Udall represents the 2nd District.

After Ken Salazar filed his suit last week, Davidson - with a private lawyer as her representative - came back with a motion of her own asking that the attorney general's case be thrown out.

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