Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"If you want to make Joe Barton wet his pants ..."

" ... just mention Chet Edwards." -- Matt Angle

The three-judge panel gave Texas Democrats an early Christmas present in the form of revised Congressional maps, and there's a lot to be thankful for.

The new map will likely give Democrats 13 House seats in the state, up from the nine seats they currently hold. It is also an improvement from the 10 likely seats Democrats would have gotten from the districts into which the Republican map had packed their constituents. [...]

The big winner in this proposal is Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas): the GOP map had tossed him into a heavily Hispanic district stretching from his home in Austin down to San Antonio. The new map draws a safely Democratic but not overwhelmingly Hispanic Austin district.

Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco (R-Texas) has an uphill battle to win reelection in his newly drawn seat. Canseco won a Democratic-leaning, heavily Hispanic seat running from San Antonio along the border almost to El Paso, and Republicans had sought to shore him up. The new plan makes the seat even more Democratic and Hispanic than the seat he currently holds.

Democrats are also dominant in two of the four new districts the state has gotten because of its population growth: a heavily minority district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and a new heavily Hispanic seat in South Texas.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) could also be potentially vulnerable, according to Democrats. His district remains GOP-leaning but would have given President Obama about 45 percent of its vote. One candidate they'd love to see run: Former Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), who represented part of Barton's new district when he was in the statehouse years ago.

Sissy Farenthold's Republican grandson is a goner:

Say sayonara to Blake "Ducky Pajamas" Farenthold in CD-27, the Republican who knocked off Solomon Ortiz in 2010. The 27th district is now 80.6% Hispanic and went for Obama in 2008.

One of the four new districts, in the Metroplex, will certainly be blue:

Note that CD33 is now a majority-minority seat in Tarrant County -- BOR notes that State Rep. Marc Veasey, one of the plaintiffs and strong fighters in these suits, has already indicated his interest in running for it. He’s already got an opponent if so -- a press release from Fort Worth City Council member Kathleen Hicks that announced her entry into the CD33 sweepstakes, hit my inbox about ten minutes after the publication of the new map. PoliTex confirms both of these. One way or another, though, it sounds like sayonara to Roger Williams.

Paging Nick Lampson:

CD14 is on the Gulf coast and includes parts of Brazoria, Galveston and Jefferson Counties. The district was formerly represented by Ron Paul, who has announced he won't run for reelection. While President Obama won just 41.9 percent of the vote, downballot candidates like Sam Houston (Texas Supreme Court) won 47.3 percent of the vote. Much of this district was represented by former Democratic Congressman Nick Lampson.

See the maps here for the state and here from Greg for the Houston area. Kuffner and Burnt Orange and the LSP, all linked above, have greater detail from their various perspectives. Stace picked up AG Abbott's fresh glass of whine, the Statesman details the Doggett-Castro separation, and the TexTrib adds a little more.

Here's to a very Happy Thanksgiving for everyone who isn't a Republican. *clink*

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