Re-Re-Redistricting Decided

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The courts have drawn the redistricting map. There will be an open primary on November 7th, with a December run-off for anyone who doesn't get a full 50% of the vote. Deadline to file in the new districts will be August 25th.

From the Statesman:

The panel reunited Webb County, which includes the majority-Hispanic city of Laredo, and placed it entirely in the 28th Congressional District, which is adjacent to the 23rd District. It added portions of Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, to the 23rd District.

The district stretches from Laredo to El Paso County and north to San Antonio. The high court ruled that the district boundaries drawn by Republican state legislators in 2003 diminish Hispanic voting power because a large cluster of Webb County Hispanics were divided into two different congressional districts.

The new plan also moves Kerr, Kendall, Bandera, and Real counties into the 21st Congressional District, represented by Republican Lamar Smith of San Antonio.

The 23rd District, represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla of San Antonio, under the map the judges issued Friday, has a 61 percent Hispanic voting age population, compared with 51 percent under the Republican-led redistricting. It also now will be more evenly divided between Democratic and Republican voters.

Under the new plan, all incumbents would remain in their current districts.

Check out the interactive map at this site as map 1438 (Court Ordered Districts LULAC v. Perry). Here is a population and general election breakdown of the 5 districts that were changed. For reference, here are the 2002-2003 lines, after the regular redistricting, but before the Delay Redistricing which are the 2004-2005 lines.

Here are closeup maps of Travis County as well as Bexar County. White districts are the unaffected CD-10 (McCaul-R) and CD-20 (Gonzales-D).

District 21 & 23- Lamar Smith (R) & Henry Bonilla (R)

District 25- Lloyd Doggett (D)

District 28 & 15- Henry Cuellar (D) & Ruben Hinojosa


Instant thoughts on all this… Cuellar just became safe in his 28th District as all of his Laredo base is united. Hinojosa gets widened a bit as he picks up the leftovers in South Texas after Doggett was retracted north into Travis but I don't see him being affected much. Smith just became a safe seat in 21 as he shed the liberal precincts in Austin (minus the UT campus, dammit) as he picked up 75% Republican rural counties he used to represent.

Bonilla becomes a target as he picks up huge parts of Democratic South San Antonio as he loses some of the Republican Hill Country. Bexar County most recently was known as Ciro Rodriguez's base when he ran against Cuellar in the primary this spring. So does Ciro run against Bonilla? He's got to be thinking about it, but he's still in dept Bonilla has $2,243,274.54 on hand…  There is the current Democratic nominee Rick Bolanos, but he hasn't filed an FEC report to date.Check out this cool map made by the Lone Star Project.

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Former Publisher & Owner of the Burnt Orange Report. Political Thinker, Digital Explorer, and Time Traveler.

42 Comments

  1. This election cycle…
    just keeps on getting more and more interesting.  First, four candidates running for Governor, then Delay being forced to run for the 22nd, and now this.  What's next?  Someone please tell me?

  2. The other thing about this is that this is a open primary…
    so any number of dems or repubs could run for it.  Would someone challenge cuellar again in his new district?  Would someone challenge dogget?  Does Ciro run against bonilla?  Who has the most money of any campaigns in these areas?

    • Julian Castro Can Beat Bonilla
      Of all the Democrats in San Antonio, I think former councilmember and mayoral candidate Julian Castro has the best shot of beating Henry Bonilla.

      He used to represent the northwestern parts of San Antonio that's been added to CD-23, and so the voters there know him well.  Julian still has the highest name recognition of Dems who could challenge Bonilla in the city, having polled 48 percent in the city-wide mayoral election…

  3. Courage is screwed
    Sorry folks, but Doggett getting what he wants has f__ked John Courage.

    CD 21 is now a 65% Republican seat; even the Travis County portion is pretty conservative.

    So Doggett's gain is Courage's loss.

    • I feel bad for John Courage
      But I couldn't be happier that I'm back in Dogget's district again. For people living in Austin to be represented by someone based in San Antonio is ridiculous. I moved back to Austin in 2000, and have lived in three different congressional districts in that six year span!

  4. Incumbent protection?
    The court's protected Smith, Doggett, and presumedly Cuellar — but it seems they hurt Bonilla. CD-23 just went from 62-38 Republican advantage to 53.7-46.3. He can't be as happy as he's pretending…

        • current candidates
          While the money would have to be coming in from DCCC to a large degree, of the current candidates, Courage actually has the most on hand in the area. I'm not sure actually if Courage's house in San Antonio got moved to Bonilla's or not (don't think so) but I'll try to find out. I love Bolanos, met him in Val Verde county during the TDP chair race. But he hasn't filed an FEC report and I've heard nada.

      • if the DCCC found a candidate right now…
        setup a competent staff, and tossed 2.2 – 3 mil at the race.  It could be winnable this time around.

        • DCCC
          I've heard the DCCC has been thinking about putting 1.5 to 2 million in this race.

          I think you're right–bonilla has about 2.3 mil, and with 2 million from DCCC, a candidate could raise enough to run ads and “hammer” bonilla on DeLay.

  5. Biggest Point
    The Republicans went too far, and they got called on it. They've spent years trying to defend a map that violated the voting rights of Hispanics. The out-of-control Republican Leadership caters to folks like Tom Delay and James Leininger, and in the last two days, we've seen how well those two have done.

  6. 6 Months Ago
    Had this been the map 6 months ago Ciro and Bonilla would be in a dog fight and Richard Raymond might have targeted Cuellar in the primary.  It would be a fight for both of them today.

    • Ruling out Ray Raymond?
      Remember that Ray Raymond announced
      a run against Cuellar and Ciro in the
      recent primary, but then backed out.

      Saved himself a lot of money and grief
      with that strategic retreat. If he's
      as smart otherwise, maybe he's smart
      enough to take down Cuellar now.

      Cuellar claims Laredo as his base.
      When it came to finding uncounted
      absentees and other missing ballots
      when he needed them, Laredo worked
      for him.

      But Ray Raymond claims Laredo as his
      base, too. He's been popular there,
      winning re-election to the Texas lege
      with nice numbers.

      So I'm hoping Raymond will go for it
      this time around, and not let Cuellar
      get settled in. Seems like a good year
      to go up against George Bush's very
      own(ed) Hispanic Congressman.

  7. Not so bad?
    Looks to me like we could have done
    worse — much worse.

    The lines submitted by the Texas AG
    took gerrymandering to another level,
    attempting to take out Doggett but
    protect Bonilla, Smith, and Cuellar.

    But these districts make sense.

    Laredo, which was so unfairly split,
    now dominates a district. Doggett's
    district looks fair, as well. Most
    of the population now is within the
    Austin-San Marcos Metropolitan Area,
    and one TV market.

    Back in the days of LBJ and Homer
    Thornberry, Central Texas counties
    like Gonzales, Bastrop, and Caldwell
    (Lockhart, Luling) were full of
    yellow dog Democrats. Of course,
    those days are gone (Caldwell is
    still blue) but there is a common
    interest.

    Hays County (San Marcos, Austin
    suburbs) was split, now it is whole
    again. Comal (New Braunfels, Canyon
    Lake) was split, now it's whole.

    Even the lines in Bexar County and
    Travis seem somewhat less tortured.

    Those (R) Hill Country counties
    deserve Lamar Smith, and he them.
    They had nothing in common with the
    Border counties except for Bonilla.

    Not a perfect plan, but pretty good
    for us considering where we were
    and could have been.

    BTW That map from the Lone Star
    Project is AWESOME! Everything
    becomes clear with it.

  8. LateNitePinky1 on

    OPEN PRIMARY?
    In this situation, does an open primary mean Independents and Republicans will also have a vote?
    This would create a potential oppurtunity for sabotage.

  9. Downtown this evening
    Around 6:30, I saw Jennifer Gale gathering signatures to run in CD-25.

    She doesn't waste any time at all with those petitions, huh?

  10. Red Viewer Site
    Seems like you used to be able to zoom in on that site (link in original post).  Anyone found a close up of Austin?

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