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The New Court-Ordered Texas Redistricting Map.

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on the likely new Congressional district maps in Texas.

Well, here's the new map:


Also, see more detailed maps in .pdf format here.

I am now represented by far-left Democrat Lloyd Doggett, rather than Republican Lamar Smith. I feel disenfranchised. Lloyd Doggett is not my candidate of choice. Nor is he the candidate of choice of thousands in my neighborhood.

Meanwhile, according to the 2000 Census, Latino Republican Henry Bonilla's new district is now 65.1% Hispanic, with Hispanics comprising 61.2% of the Voting Age Population. Meanwhile, only 54.2% of currently registered voters in the new TX-23 are Hispanic. This is now a relatively competitive district, if not this year, then in future years.

Ironically, far-left netroots-favored Democrat Ciro Rodriguez, who lost to fellow Democrat Henry Cuellar in Democratic primaries in 2004 (by just 58 votes) and in 2006 (by a small percentage), lives in TX-23. He'll run a vigorous campaign against Henry Bonilla (R).

Folks, a court just eliminated a safe Republican U.S. House seat. Just like that. While Henry Bonilla ought to be relatively safe this year, the odd primary structure might mean a run-off election with extremely low turnout. In December.

Over the next two years, you can bet that Ciro Rodriguez (D) will raise a ton of money to challenge Bonilla (R). He'll organize. He'll mobilize. And he'll watch Bonilla like a hawk when he speaks or votes or raises money.

Bonilla, a fairly reliable Republican vote in the House, may now have to watch his back on policy issues. We'll see.

Here's how the election will work:

* March Primaries in five altered districts are vacated, essentially voiding a major act of democracy with the stroke of a judge's keyboard.

* The new filing deadline is August 25th for potential candidates.

* Ballot will be formally certified September 6th.

* Primaries and General Election run concurrently on November 7th. In most races, we'll vote for real. For House races, we'll vote Louisiana-style.

* To win and avoid a run-off, a candidate must receive 50% of the vote. If a candidate fails to receive 50%, a runoff election will include the top 2 vote getters.

* Texas Secretary of State will set the date for the run-off election, if necessary. Likely, it will be 3-5 weeks after the November 7 election.

Weird, weird deal.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 August 2006 11:59 PM


You know, all of this could have been avoided if DeLay had left Doggett be in Travis County instead of trying to bust up Austin into three districts. I guess I've never been clear on why the Rs wouldn't want to concentrate incredibly-liberal voters from the city into one district, unless its because Bonilla is just that afraid of facing a Latino-majority district (remember, he had a close call in 2002 against Cuellar).

Take heart, though. You may have gotten Doggett back, but I'm still represented by the freakin' Congressman from Clear Channel.

Posted by: Dan at August 6, 2006 11:26 PM