State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, HD-51, who represents East Austin, put together a brief summary of the major changes to the Legislative map in the version released by the Federal court last night. Thanks Eddie for this solid overview. It's posted here on his website.
New House and Senate maps were released today and here are some of the highlights:
– There were no surprises in Travis County, as the 6 House Districts look like the ones drawn during Session with 5 Democrats and one Republican.
– At least one Democratic pairing has been separated, as Rep. Hubert Vo and Rep. Scott Hochberg now have separate districts to run in.
– Republican Beverly Woolley's district was eliminated. Rep. Woolley previously announced her intention to retire.
– In South Texas, the district where Democrat Veronica Gonzales and Democrat-turned-Republican Aaron Pena both reside is much more Democratic than the map passed by the Legislature. The district has returned almost to the status quo.
– Senator Wendy Davis' of Fort Worth retained a district similar to her current one. The map passed by Republican legislators would have eliminated Democratic parts of Tarrant County while adding Republican strongholds.
– The House map includes 58 minority opportunity districts.
– The House map creates 13 open seats. Former Democratic Rep. Paula Pierson has announced her intent to run for the new open seat in HD 93.
Good to see Eddie keeping close tabs on the map that will largely determine how Democratic his chamber is. Great to see a map that will empower minority communities to elect a representative of their choosing.
Congressional maps are expected be released today. The main area of focus, at least in Central Texas, will be on CD-23 (Republican Rep. Canseco challenged by Democratic State Rep. Pete Gallego) and CD-35 (open seat with primary between State Rep Joaquin Castro and Rep. Lloyd Doggett). Changes to those districts may impact CD-25, 21, and 20 as well.