San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

UPDATED 6:48 p.m. WEDNESDAY: In a statement to supporters, Narvaiz seems to indicate she will stay in CD-35 race for the U.S. House of Representatives:

While our team is reviewing the new boundaries and the court has allowed until Friday, Nov. 25 for additional comments to be submitted, we want to let you know that my home still remains in Congressional District 35. We thank the judges for their work and wait, with all of Texas, for the final interim maps to be issued.

When these maps are final we will all move forward with one of our most treasured gifts of freedom: the right to hold elections.  We can prepare to cast our individual vote with purpose for the party and the person that best represents your values . . . America’s values.

UPDATED 4:48 p.m. WEDNESDAY: Former San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, who has already announced her campaign for CD-35, would likely face State Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, in next November’s general election if she wins the Republican Party’s nomination. Her house in the Mockingbird Hills neighborhood of San Marcos lies in the new CD-35. Her announcement last weekend came before a panel of federal judges handed down a new map that shifts most of western Hays County into CD-25. The new maps also raises the question if other Hays County Republicans might jump into the race versus Doggett in a new constituted district that puts re-centers CD-25 in Austin.

by ROSS RAMSEY

A panel of three federal judges in San Antonio proposed new congressional districts for Texas today. The map is a proposal; the court is seeking comments from the parties by noon Friday.

The court’s map creates four new district where minority voters have the upper hand, effectively creating that many new opportunities for Texas Democrats. A spokeswoman for Attorney General Greg Abbott said the judges ignored the law.

“The court’s proposed Congressional map seems to depart from the law just as much as its proposed state legislative maps,” said Lauren Bean. “The court issued a map without any explanation, but still, it seems apparent that the proposed map misapplies federal law and continues the court’s trend of inappropriately venturing into political policymaking rather than simply applying the law. Perhaps worst, in the name of protecting Hispanic voting power, the court seems to be discarding already elected Republican Hispanics in favor of drawing maps that may elect Democratic Hispanics. That is not and should not be the proper role of the court or the proper application of the Voting Rights Act. If the final interim map does not meaningfully change, the Texas Attorney General’s Office is prepared to immediately appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to correct this improper overreach by unelected federal judges.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White won in 12 of the 36 districts in the new map while losing the state. Barack Obama won in 13 of them, including in CD-23, where U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-San Antonio, is the incumbent. No other Republicans are in districts where the Democrats won (in 2010, White lost the district with 47.8 percent of the vote). No Democratic incumbents got new districts where Republicans won at the top of the ticket.

It looks like U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and state Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, won’t be running against each other. It appears that former Secretary of State Roger Williams and former Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams — unless they want to run against strong incumbents — are out of luck. Roger Williams is now in a district with Republican Kay Granger, a former Fort Worth mayor elected to Congress in 1996. Michael Williams is still in a district where Doggett is the incumbent, but now it’s been drawn to elect a Democrat instead of a Republican. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, now has a district with nearly 200,000 Harris County residents. Former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt says “people have encouraged me to look at it.” Nueces County, where Farenthold is from, has about half as many people in the district.

Texas got four new seats as a result of reapportionment because it grew faster than other states. White and Obama won in three of them; in the new CD-36, both lost.

The court’s proposal includes 13 districts where minorities make up more than half of the population, including eight where Hispanics alone are in the majority. One is a new open seat in Tarrant County; state Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, said via text message that he’ll be a candidate: “Yes, I’m in and glad that my efforts help make this a reality for Tarrant County residents.”

Here’s the map (and a link to a bigger version on the Texas Legislative Council’s website):

Court-proposed congressional districts for Texas.

[Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story flipped the partisan numbers in CD-36; Republicans at the top of the ticket won there in both 2008 and 2010. Likewise, Democrats won in both elections in CD-28, where Cuellar is the incumbent.]

ROSS RAMSEY is editor of The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.

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2 thoughts on “Updated: Narvaiz says CD-35 campaign still on

  1. Hi — Why must the new district divide the city of San Marcos, as well as Hays County? A divided Hays County is bad enough, but the city of San Marcos? Wish the lines could be shifted differently, but it doesn’t look possible with the Friday deadline and no word from city officials.

  2. I’m glad to see that Susan is staying in the race. I think she’d be a great representative for our area.

    -Chris

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