Lawmakers in the lonestar state are looking for the best way to carve out the new congressional districts in the Houston and Austin areas. Texas lawmakers unveiled a map of the new proposed redistricting lines on Tuesday.
The map was proposed by state Senator Joan Huffman, a Republican legislator, and would effectively lock in Republicans’ long-held advantage in Texas for another decade or so, reducing the number of competitive districts in favor of an incumbent protection strategy.
According to a recent article published by The Hill, “Twenty-three of Texas’s 36 congressional districts are currently represented by Republicans, with the rest by Democrats.” Under this new proposed map, the Grand Old Party would be in position to widen its advantage for future elections, creating 25 districts where voters broke for former President Trump and a mere 13 that voted for Joe Biden.
Texas gained a whopping two new districts in the 2020 census, with metropolitan areas such as those around Austin and Houston responsible for much of the state’s population gain. The addition of these new districts is largely due to the outflux of people from states like New York and California, both of which lost a congressional House seat in the 2020 census, (AP).
While the proposed map does look to protect many incumbents from facing upcoming and possibly competitive reelection bids, it could create a lot of problems for some members in government. For example, it would pit Democratic Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green against one another. Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s (R) district would overlap with that of Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D).
Republicans have generally held the reins of power in Texas, making the state synonymous with the GOP. But Democrats have challenged the Republican stronghold state more aggressively in recent election years, largely motivated by some marginally close races and the suburban shift toward their party.