|Redistricting Process: Legislative||Population Change (since 2000): 4,293,741|
|Legislature: Republican||Seats: 36 (+4 from 2010)|
|Governor: Rick Perry (R)||Members of Congress: 24R, 12D|
|Party Control: Republican||2012: 41.4% Obama, 57.2% Romney|
Three maps are available for each state. Each has new district outlines in bold.
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New Districts by Party Representative
Redistricting Analysis: Texas
Between 2000 and 2010, Texas had a population growth rate of 20.6%, the fifth fastest of any state. By comparison, the percent increase for the United States was a mere 9.7%. Such robust growth allowed Texas to gain four electoral votes, the most gained by any state. Texas’s substantial population increase was mainly centered around the metropolitan areas. Of the 15 fastest growing large cities, 8 of them were located in Texas. The state continues to be split between the heavily populated eastern and more rural west. Texas is also notable for being the only state to have gone through a mid-decade redistricting process. After Republicans won control of the House, they pushed through legislation to redraw the maps. Democrats quickly accused the Republican plan of gerrymandering. Eventually, the case went to the Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry. The court ruled that only District 23 of the 2003 changes violated the Voting Rights Act, but they court did not reject the entire plan, allowing Texas to approve maps that more heavily favored Republican candidates after only slight adjustments. Despite the short period of time between the redistricting in 2003 and 2003, Texas still changed greatly.
Texas was subject to considerable demographic changes. Latinos experienced by far the most rapid population growth in the state. In the last decade, the Latino population grew from 6,669,666 to 9,216,240, an increase of nearly 2,546,574. No other group in the state grew by more than 1 million. The demographic that saw the second largest increase, African Americans, grew by 575,023. Such striking differences have changed Texas, easily seen by the state’s new demographic breakdown. In 2000, Whites in Texas made up a slim, but significant, majority at 52.4%. Hispanics were the next most populous group at 32%. African Americans and Asians made up 11.5% and 2.7%, respectively. In just one decade, Whites, who have dropped to 45.8% of the population, have lost their majority. Meanwhile, Latinos increased by over 5 points to compose 37.2% of the population. Other minority groups, such as African Americans and Asians saw double digit growth, yet their numbers remained relatively unchanged when compared to the dramatic swings of the White and Latino populations. These demographic shifts have made Texas’s congressional redistricting process extremely relevant as problems arise regarding the proper representation of these new groups. The Texas Legislature was tasked with creating four new districts, meanwhile ensuring that demographic and rural interests were adequately considered.
In Texas, Congressional redistricting is decided by the bicameral State Legislature. Like ordinary legislation, redistricting proposals are drafted in both houses, which are then debated, amended, and passed by respective houses. Passed plans are then signed or vetoed by the Governor. In the event that the legislature fails to pass a plan in the allotted time, a state commission composed of the Lieutenant governor, speaker of the house, land commissioner, comptroller, and attorney general is assembled to create a plan. By law, the commission is required to pass a plan within 60 days of convening. Currently, both houses of the Texas State legislature are controlled by Republicans by decisive majorities. In the State House, Texas Republicans outnumber the Democrats by more than a 2:1 ratio, at 101 to 48. Power, however, is more dispersed in the State Senate, Republicans still have a sizable majority, outnumbering Democrats 19:12. Single party power in the legislative branch was augmented by committee appointments in the both houses. In the Senate, 8 of the 14 spots on the redistricting committee were held by Republicans; in the House, 12 of the 17 spots were held by Democrats. During the redistricting process, Texas’s governor, Rick Perry, was also considered a strong Republican. Yet even with near total control of the executive and legislative branches, the Texas redistricting process was hardly smooth. New congressional district maps were challenged in a lengthy legislative and judicial battle, proving so contentious that Texas, even now, does not have finalized maps available.
On June 6, 2011, the Texas State Senate passed the first congressional redistricting map with an 18-12 vote along party lines. Almost immediately, Democratic Senators alleged that the plan failed to provide adequate minority representation, a charge which, if true, would violate the Voting Rights Act. Despite several amended plans, Democratic concerns were never assuaged. Yet Republican control of the legislature and the executive meant that the plans were pushed through despite concerns. On July 18, 2011, Governor Perry signed the map into law. Although negotiations in the legislative branch underlying the redistricting process were relatively tame, approval by the judiciary proved more difficult.
Texas is one of many states required to gain approval of redistricting maps by federal courts. One day after the maps were passed, Texas submitted its plan to the Department of Justice. On September 19, 2011, the Department of Justice filed a response with the DC federal court and rejected Texas’s maps on the basis that the congressional districts violated the Voting Rights Act. Ten days after the response, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia prevented Texas’s redistricting maps from taking effect. Multiple lawsuits by other organizations were also filed, raising concerns ranging from Texas Prison populations to Hispanic representation. Currently, over 12 lawsuits regarding redistricting have been filed. Such filings guaranteed that a lengthy court process would ensue—a process unlikely to be finished by the 2012 elections. Due to the pressing need for new maps, the Department of Justice filed their own “interim maps,” which would be used in the 2012 elections. Interim districts are in line with Texas requirements, being even in population and continuous. Texas’s population is 25,145,561, meaning that each district should ideally have a population of 698,488. Overall, the new districts are extremely close to the ideal population, with the largest districts by population, the fourteenth and twenty-second districts, missing the threshold by just 16. After the litigation process is carried out, the interim maps will be replaced by the finalized districts.
The first district of Texas is located in the eastern portion of the state, holding ten counties and parts of two more. It closely resembles the earlier district. The only changes are in the northern region, with gains in parts of Wood and loss of Cass, Marion, and Upshur Counties. Of these, the most populous is Smith County, which is home to 209,714 residents. The first district has 31% of Upshur County and 38% of Wood County. Notable cities within the district include Tyler, Longview, and Marshall. The first district does not contain any of Texas’s larger cities, but is still somewhat metropolitan. Demographically, the population is composed of 64.4% White, 18.5% African American, and 15.5% Hispanic. This is significantly less diverse than the State as a whole, which has a White population of only 48%. Overall however, the county has a population which is relatively well dispersed. In comparison to the rest of the state, the first had a relatively normal growth in 2010, with every district growing less than 25%. Marion and St. Augustine counties lost population; the rest saw their populations increase.
Within the first district, 523,448 residents of the total 698,488 are eligible to vote. Voter registration is at 61.3%. From its inception until 2005, the first district had only elected one democratic representative. After the mid-decade redistricting process in 2004, the first has become solidly Republican, electing Representative Louis Gohmert in 2006 and favoring Bush in 2004 and McCain in 2008. Republican Gohmert has been re-elected every year since 2004, and plans to run again in the 2012 election. Recently, Gohmert has been re-elected in landslide victories, garnering over 80% of the vote in 2008 and 2010. Attempting to upset Gohmert are two candidates Democrat Shirley McKellar and Libertarian Clark Patterson. Currently, Gohmert has a commanding financial lead over his opponents, having raised $710,715 compared to McKellar’s $52,937, and Paterson’s $0.
UPDATE: Representative Gomhert won with
Texas’s second district before redistricting held a large portion of the southeast corner of the state, but now it wraps around the northern suburbs of Houston. The district used to reach from Spring, TX, just north of Houston, to Port Arthur, at the eastern border of the state, and stretched north enough to contain Beaumont, TX. The district is now shaped like an upside-down “U”, covering suburbs Atascocita, Humble, and Spring. Only 17 percent of Harris County is contained in the second district, but the district matches the exact ideal population count. The demographic breakdown prior to redistricting sat at 56.3% White, 20% African American, 19% Hispanic, 3.2% Asian, and 1.5% Other. Now, the demography is as follows: 50.8% White, 10.5% African American, 30.8% Hispanic, and 8.5% Other. The new second is made up of 45% of the old second, 36% of the former seventh, 10% of the tenth, and 9% of the eighteenth.
The old second was rated “Solid Republican” by the New York Times’ Race Profile of the district, and since the new district contains half of the old district, speculation is that it will remain Republican leaning, if it is not enhanced. FairVote produced a partisanship study on the new maps in Texas and determined that the second district in particular went from being 36% Democratic to 34% Democratic, and from 64% Republican to 66% Republican. The current incumbent, Republican Ted Poe is therefore expected to retain his seat in the U.S. House, but is running against Democrat Jim Dougherty, Libertarian Kenneth Duncan, and Green Party candidate Mark Roberts. Poe is also drastically outspending his competition, having raised $911,961 compared to Dougherty’s $44,330, the next largest contender.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, incumbent Republican Ted Poe retained his seat in the U.S. House with
The third congressional district, as outlined by the court-mandated interim maps, is now composed of 89.3% of Collin County. Prior to the 2010 redistricting cycle, the third district included the northeast corner of Dallas County, which encompassed the cities of Garland, Sachse, and Rowlett, but under the new plans, the district exists entirely within Collin. The newly added cities from Collin County that are now in the third district are Prosper, Fairview, Lucas, St. Paul, Lowry Crossing, New Hope, Princeton, and Melissa. Based on 2010 census data, none of these towns has a population exceeding 10,000 people. According to the 2010 census, the population of the previous District 3 was 842,449. The ideal size for a district, accounting for the state’s population growth and added congressional districts, is 698,488, so District 3’s size exceeded the ideal by around 140,000 people prior to redistricting. The redrawn 3rd district has a population of exactly 698,488 people.
As of 2010, the district had 433,068 registered voters, which composed 51.4% of the district’s total population. Under the redrawn lines, the percentages of the district’s population identifying as White or other increased, while the African American and Hispanic populations now compose a smaller percentage of the district. The third is now 62.4% White, up from 51.9%; 14.2% other, a small increase from 14.0%; 9.3% African American, down from 12.4%; and 14.5% Hispanic, a significant drop from the previous 22.2%. The incumbent congressional representative for District 3 is Sam Johnson, a Republican. He has held his seat since 1991 and is up for re-election in 2012. After winning the 2012 Republican primary with
UPDATE: Representative Johnson won as the sole contender in the election.
The fourth district is located in the northeastern section of Texas, bordering Oklahoma and Arkansas. When compared to the old fourth, the new district is almost identical. Notably, however, the fourth has increased in size. After losing small parts of Collin and Rockwall counties, the fourth has gained portions of Upshur, Cass, and Marion. The most populous county in the district is Grayson, which has a population of 120,877. The district is also home to Rockwall County and Collin County, two of the fastest growing counties in the state. While the fourth holds only 5% of the densely populated Cass County, its small holding makes up almost 5% of the district’s total population. Demographically, the fourth is heavily composed of Whites. 77.1% of residents are White, 10.7% are African American, and 8.7% of residents are Hispanic. In total, an estimated 698,488 Texans reside in the district, which matches the ideal population perfectly.
Of the 698,488 residents in the fourth, approximately 521,731 residents are eligible to vote. After the 2003 mid-decade redistricting, the fourth began to lean Republican. During the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, every county within the district voted for Republican candidate. That sentiment carried over to house elections. In 2004, they elected Ralph Hall, the first Republican representative since 1870. He won each subsequent election, with nearly 70% of the vote each time. Hall is seeking re-election in 2008, and has a $536,741 war chest in his favor. By comparison, his two opponents, Libertarian Thomas Griffing and Democrat Valinda Hathcock, have failed to raise anything. The inclusion of Marion, Cass, and Upshur counties are unlikely to make the fourth any more competitive; the majority of the population in the past has consistently supported Republican candidates.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, Hall was re-elected with
District 5 is located in the eastern part of Texas. It encompasses Kaufman, Van Zandt, Henderson, Anderson, and Cherokee counties, as well as parts of Wood and Dallas counties. Much like the fourth, it remains virtually the same as the 2005-2011 maps, losing only portions of Wood County. Most of the fifth’s population is in Dallas County, even though only 14% of Dallas County is in the fifth district. Even so, this small holding accounts for nearly half of the district’s population at 328,522. Another notable county is Kaufman, which alone accounts for 103,350 residents, nearly twice as much as any other. Within the fifth, 57.2% of residents are White, 14.9% of residents are African American, and 25.2% of residents are Hispanic. The aggregate number however, belies the true story. The fifth has a portion of Dallas with a heavy minority population. Thus, most of the districts diversity is isolated to an extremely small geographic area. While the portion of Dallas County has a demographic breakdown of Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics of 39.3%, 19.5%, and 37.4% respectively, other counties have predominantly White populations. Of the seven counties in the fifth, six of them have populations that are over 60% White, and three counties have White populations of over 80% of the total population.
Even with the partial inclusion of Dallas County, the fifth district has been steadily Republican. In the 2004 and 2008 presidential races, nearly every county within the fifth supported a Republican ticket. The only exception: Dallas County. The district has also been held by a republican since 1997. Its current representative, Jeb Hensarling, was first elected in 2003 and is seeking another term in 2012. He has proved to be a popular candidate, winning with over 60% of the vote in each election. Opposing Representative Hensarling are Democrat Linda Mrosko and Libertarian Ken Ashby. As of October 22, 2010, Hensarling has an enormous financial advantage. He has raised $2,913,907 while his opponents have collectively raised only $6,725.
UPDATE: Representative Hensarling held his seat with
Compared to other districts, District 6 leans on the smaller side geographically. It encompasses the entirety of Ellis and Navarro counties, and portions of Tarrant. District 6 has shrunk considerably compared to its previous size, losing four counties: Trinity, Leon Houston, Freestone, and portions of Limestone. The district has expanded into the densely populated Tarrant County, now covering larger portions of Arlington and Fort Worth. Fort Worth and Arlington are among the most populous cities in Texas, ranking fifth and seventh respectively. The sixth draws the majority of its population, 501,153, from its small territory in Tarrant. The holding makes up less than an eighth of the counties total area, yet accounts for almost 70% of the total population. Demographically, the sixth is relatively diverse. The population breakdown is for 54.3% White, 19.3% African American, and 20.8% Hispanic. The district, with a population of 698,498 barely exceeds the target population of 698,488.
Overall, the sixth district leans Republican. They have elected all Republican Representatives since 1983. The current representative, Joe Barton, was first elected in 1985, and is running for re-election in 2012. In the past four terms, Representative Barton has always won by more than a ten point margin. Like most incumbents, Barton held a financial advantage; he raised $1,477,804 while his rivals collectively raised only $137,358. Geographic changes within the districts did not radically change the outcomes as all three counties within the sixth heavily supported Bush and McCain in 2000, 2004, and 2008.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, Barton won by
The seventh district is oddly shaped much like its predecessor. Located in the southeastern portion of the state, its unique boundaries resemble a sideways U. The district holds only 17% of Harris County, which is home to Houston, the largest city in Texas. This small portion accounts for the entirety of the district’s population of 698,488, which perfectly matches the ideal population. Much like Houston itself, the seventh has a strong minority population. 47.3% of residents are White, 12.4% are African American, and 30.1% are Hispanic. Despite its large population, Houston has grown at an exceptional pace in the past decade. Between 2000-2010, it has grown at a rate of 26.1%, almost unprecedented for a city of its size.
Of the nearly 700,000 residents in seventh, 519,479 are eligible to vote. Historically, they have used this power to elect Republican representatives. The district has been represented by a republican since 1971 and has historically favored republican presidential candidates. Because no large changes have been made to the seventh, it’s unlikely this trend will reverse on its own. Current representative John Culberson seeks re-election in 2012. Previously, in 2010, Culberson rode a wave of Republican resurgence to win a commanding victory with 81.9% of the vote. In his favor is a $789,962 war chest. His closest rival, Democrat James Cargas, has raised a mere $73,094.
UPDATE: In 2012, Culberson won with
In contrast to the irregularly shaped District 7, District 8 has a variety of countries. It encompasses Grimes, Houston, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker Counties and parts of Harris and Leon. Of these, by far the largest is Montgomery, which has a population of 455,746, accounting for over ⅔ of the district’s total population. The population is composed of 68.4% White, 8.9% Latino, and 19.7% Hispanic. Altogether, the eighth district has lost seven entire counties while gaining Grimes and Madison. This change comes partially as a result of Montgomery County’s extraordinary growth rate; between 2000 and 2010, Montgomery County experienced population growth of 55.14%, double the state as a whole.
Of the 698,488 residents, 516,691 are eligible to vote. Voter turnout in 2008 and 2010 was low, with only 293,958 of residents voting in 2008 and 207,346 residents voting in the 2010 elections. Despite its long history, the district has elected a Republican representative since 1981. While the eighth district did lose a couple of counties which have historically voted Republican, it still remains relatively conservative. Every county in the new eighth with the exception of Harris, from which the eighth only draws 2% of its population, has voted for Republican Presidents and representatives from 2006-2010. The current representative, Kevin Brady has been serving since 1997. He also far outstripped his opponents in terms of funding, raising $1,241,986 to their collective $14,616.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, he retained his seat, acquiring
Serving the southwestern portion of the Greater Houston Area, District 9 is located on the eastern portion of the state. Prior to redistricting, the district consisted of 18% of Fort Bend County and 15% of Harris County. From the 2010 census, the ninth also had a population of 773,796 which was almost 70,000 more than the ideal population of 698, 488. The new district lines include 25% and 14% of Fort Bend and Harris Counties respectively, bringing the population to 698,488 exactly. The district is composed of 91% of the former ninth and 9% of the former twenty-seconded congressional district. Demographically, the district’s population consists of 11.5% Caucasian, 40.3% African American, 37.7% Hispanic and 12.0% other.
Of its 698,488 constituents, 500,927 people are of voting age. The district has been a Democratic stronghold, with the exception of one Republican representative and is considered “Solid Democratic” in the New York Times past election profile. Congressman Al Green has been a democratic incumbent for District 9, since his election in 2004. He won re-election in 2010, with 75.7% of the vote, against Republican Steve Mueller and Libertarian Michael W. Hope. In the 2012 election, Green is seeking re-election against contesters Republican Steve Mueller, Libertarian John Wieder, and Green Party Candidate Vanessa Foster. Green has a considerable advantage as an incumbent and financial arsenal over his other opponents; he has raised $287,053 while Mueller raised $3,788.
UPDATE: Green retained his seat with
The tenth congressional district is located in the southeastern part of the state. It serves the northwestern part of the Greater Houston Area stretching to the Austin area of Texas. New district plans included the 100% of Austin, Colorado, Fayette, Waller and Washington County as well as 59% of Bastrop, 6% of Harris, 71% of Lee and 24% of Travis County. The new lines include the entirety of Colorado and Fayette counties as well as the increase of Bastrop county by 25%. The lines also completely remove Burlenson county from the district in addition to reducing Harris county by 5% and Lee county by 29%. According to the 2010 census, the district recorded a population of 981,367. As a result of redistricting, the population decreased to 698,487, or one away from the ideal population. Of this population, 57.5% are White, 10.5% are African American, 26.3% are Hispanic and 5.6% are other.
In the tenth district, only 513,735 people are of voting age. Of those, 61.9% are White, 10.5% are African American, 22.8% are Hispanic, and 5.5% are other. Voter turnout has decreased in the district. In 2010, 182,334 people showed up to vote; whereas in 2008, 254,094 showed up. The district has been strongly Republican leaning until 2005. According to the New York Times, the tenth is seen as a solid Republican district, with the Republican incumbent having 0% chance of losing their seat. Republican Michael McCaul has been the incumbent in the district since 2005. Every election, McCaul has won re-election with over 55% of the vote. In the 2012 election, McCaul is competing against Democrat Tawana Cadien and Libertarian Richard Priest. McCaul held an advantage by raising $960,676 for the election while his competitors raised $35,987 total.
UPDATE: McCaul won the election with
District 11 is located in the central-western portion of Texas and is commonly identified as one of the most Republican districts in the country. As such, 75% or more of the population has voted for the Republican presidential candidate in the past three elections. District 11 was originally created in the 2003 redistricting process from parts of the old thirteenth, seventeenth, nineteenth, and twenty-first districts. In the 2010 redistricting process, it shifted slightly to the east and the components changed slightly. It is now comprised of 78% of the former District 11, 4% of the former District 13, 9% of the former District 17, 6% of the former District 19, and 3% of the former District 31. District 11 now encompasses the following counties: Andrews, Ector, Midland, Martin, Dawson, Glasscock, Mitchell, Sterling, Irion, Tom Green, Coke, Runnels, Concho, Mendar, Kimble, Coleman, Callahan, McCulloch, Mason, Llano, San Saba, Mills, Comanche, Brown, Eastland, Palo Pinto, Hood and Erath. The makeup of the district is largely rural, Republican, and White. The district is composed of 61.0% White, 4.3% African American, 33.3% Hispanic, and 1.9% other.
Of the 698,488 residents, 522,630 are of voting age. Congressman Mike Conaway has represented District 11 in Congress since his election in 2004. The seat is up for re-election this November. Representative Conaway is being challenged by Libertarian Scott J. Ballard and Democrat Jim Riley. However, it is highly unlikely that Representative Conaway will be defeated due to the Republican leaning voting history of District 11. He won re-election in 2010, receiving 80.8% of the overall vote. The Cook Partisan Voting Index and the Cook Partisan Voting Report from 2008 both show that Conaway’s seat is a “non-competitive” seat. Since the makeup of the district did not change substantially, it is safe to assume that this seat still remains “non-competitive” by such standards. Conaway has also logged the largest expenditures and donations raised of any candidate in District 11, leading by nearly $1,285,000 at $1,295,315 in funds raised.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, Conaway won the election with
District 12 occupies the central part of Texas near Forth Worth and is relatively small compared to the other districts in Texas. The twelfth district contains the western part of Tarrant and south eastern part of Wise County as well as all of Parker County. District 12 reported in the 2010 census a population of 831,210 which exceeded the ideal population of 698,488.Therefore, the district has shrunk in size losing most of Wise and Tarrant counties, and is now comprised of exactly 698,488 people. Demographically, the district is largely White. The population is composed of 66.4% White, 8.6% African American and 20.6% Hispanic.
In District 12, 518,938 residents are of voting age. Of eligible voters, 70.6% are White, 7.8% are African American and 17.2% are Hispanic. The voter turnout has dropped significantly dropped from 2008 to 2010; in 2008, district voter turnout was 65.2%; whereas in 2010, voter turnout dropped to 38.4%. Since its creation in 1893, the district has been largely Democratic with only two Republican representatives. In the 2012 election, Granger seeks re-election against Democrat Dave Robinson and Libertarian Matthew Solodow is also financially advantaged with a war chest of $1,289,324 compared to Robinson’s $10,480 and Solodow’s $0. However, a Republican, Kay Granger, has held the congressional seat since 1997.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, Granger won
District 13 occupies the northernmost region of Texas. Under the new redistricting plan, Texas’ thirteenth congressional district acquires Deaf Smith County and parts of Floyd and Archer County from the nineteenth district, as well as part of Cooke County from the twenty-sixth district. The thirteenth also loses the counties of Crosby, Stonewall, Throckmorton, Haskell, and Jones to the nineteenth district; Palo Pinto County to the eleventh district; and parts of Wise County to the twelfth district. With these changes, the only counties that are not located entirely in District 13 are Floyd and Wise. Floyd is split between the thirteenth and nineteenth districts, with 41% of the county residing in the thirteenth; Wise is shared with the twelfth, with 61% of the county in the thirteenth district.
Prior to redistricting, District 13 had a population of 672,781 people based on 2010 census data, 25,707 people short of the ideal district size of 698,488 people. With the new district lines, the 13th district’s population is exactly 698,488 people, composed of 67.0% White, 6.1% African American, 24.1% Hispanic, and 3.2% other. These figures very closely match the demography of the previous district, in which the population was 67.2% White, 6.6% African American, 23.4% Hispanic, and 3.2% other. Of its 698,488 people, 519,246 are eligible to vote. The incumbent representative for District 13 is Republican Mac Thornberry, who has held office since 1994. He is currently running against Geen party candidate Keith F. Houston.
UPDATE: In the 2012 election, Thornberry won
The lines of the new fourteenth district span much of the same area as the old fourteenth, covering coastline from Jefferson County through Brazoria, which reaches toward the southern border of Texas. The constituency of the fourteenth was previously 57.0% White, with Hispanics making up 29.0% of the population, the African American demographic holding 9.8%, and other backgrounds accounting for the remaining 4.7%. The new demographics indicate that the Hispanic and African American populations account for much more of the population, sitting at 22.1% and 21.2%, respectively. The White population decreased accordingly, down to 53.3%, and other ethnicities now make up the remaining 3.9%. Since the new fourteenth takes area from the old second, the old twenty-second, and the old fourteenth, and all three were considered Solid Republican in the New York Times’ past election profile, it is reasonable to label the new district similarly heavily Republican.
The fourteenth district in Texas is known for being Representative Ron Paul’s district of over 15 years. Ron Paul decided not to run in the 2012 November election, leaving Democrat Nick Lampson to face off against Republican Randy Weber. Lampson had been a representative for the urban ninth district from 1997 to 2005, then was cut out by redistricting that redrew large portions of the original district into the heavily Republican twenty-second. In 2004, Lampson opted to run for re-election in the second district, but he was edged out by Republican Pete Olson. In 2006, Lampson was elected to represent the twenty-second district, which had been resigned by Tom Delay, former Republican Majority Leader. Lampton then was edged out of the twenty-second by Republican Pete Olsen in 2008. Republican Randy Weber served on the Pearland City Council for 6 years, then served for a number of local government organizations until his election to the Texas House of Representatives. He sought Ron Paul’s former district in hopes of picking up the still largely Republican area. Weber has a slight financial advantage of $1,129,904 compared to Lampson’s $1,041,932.
UPDATE: Weber narrowly won the election with
The fifteenth congressional district of Texas is located on the Southern tip of the state, and includes a small portion of Texas’ border with Mexico in Hidalgo County. As a result of redistricting, the district decreased in size by 88,636 from 787,124 people to 698,488 people, the ideal population of each district. The geographic changes to the district included the addition of Jim Hogg County, 83% of Guadalupe County, 10% of Wilson County, and a small increase of 3% in Hidalgo County, from 66% to 69%. The district also relinquished the counties of Bee, De Witt, Goliad, Jim Wells, and Refugio in their entirety, and lost 24% of Cameron County and 42% of San Patricio County it formerly contained.
The demography of District 15 remains largely unchanged by redistricting. In the previous district, the population was 82.5% Hispanic, 1.7% African American, and 15.0% White. By comparison, the new district’s population is 80.6% Hispanic, 2.0% African American, and 16.3% White. The fifteenth district has the 2nd largest Hispanic population by percentage, at 80.6%. The district with the largest percentage, 82.7%, is District 34, which neighbors the 15th to the east and shares part of its border with Mexico as well.
Of the district’s 698,488-person population, 469,736 are of voting age, the second smallest voting age population in Texas. In addition to the limited number of eligible voters in the fifteenth, the district also had the third lowest voter turnout in Texas in the 2008 elections, and the fourth lowest in 2010. The incumbent congressional representative for the fifteenth district is Ruben Hinojosa, a Democrat who has held office since he was first elected in 1996. He is up for re-election in 2012, and is running against Republican challenger Dale Brueggemann. To date, Hinojosa’s campaign has raised $550,553, while rival Brueggemann’s has raised only $31,075.
UPDATE: Hinojosa won his re-election campaign in 2012 with
District 16 is relatively small in size, especially in comparison to the other districts in Texas. Primarily made up of the majority of El Paso County, it is located on the border of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. The most recent redistricting process only slightly changed the makeup of the district with the loss of southern El Paso County and an extension east to Hudspeth County. Overall, the district is now comprised of 98% of the former District 16 and 2% of the former District 23. Ethnically, it is primarily comprised of individuals of Latino origin with 77.6% of the population Hispanic, 3.8% African American, and 17.0% White.
Of its 698,488 constituents, 493,308 are of voting age. Congressman Silvestre Reyes has represented the district since 1996. In the 2012 election, the Congressional race was particularly interesting because it was one of only a handful of districts in the United States where the incumbent, in this case Reyes, lost the primary election. Challenger Beto O’Roarke won the Democratic primary election by nearly 3,000 votes. O’Roarke ran on a platform that criticized Reyes for his attendance policy and alleged misuse of campaign funds. In response, Reyes denied allegations and pointed out O’Roarke’s support for marijuana legalization. However, there was waning support for the incumbent overall due to his lack of identification with constituents. It is also important to note that the Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability also targeted Representative Reyes. O’Roarke has raised $638,994, over $500,000 more than his opponents’ collective $111,779.
UPDATE: In the general election, Beto O’Rourke went on to win the election with
District 17 is located in central-eastern Texas and is comprised of all or parts of the following counties: McLennan, Limestone, Freestone, Leon, Falls, Robertson, Milam, Burleson, Lee, Travis, Bastrop, and Brazos. It is located between Houston and Fort Worth and centered primarily around Waco. The most recent redistricting process substantially changed the makeup of District 17 as a whole. It is now made up of 64% of the former District 17, 22% of the former District 10, 8% of the former District 31, and 7% of the former District 6. It became less linear and lengthy and more centralized and circular around Waco. District 17 is relatively diverse, but sustains a relatively high rate of individuals living under the poverty level. Demographically, the new district is composed of 57.7% White, 14.5% African American, 23.3% Hispanic, and 5.2% other.
Of its 697,487 constituents, 532,324 are of voting age. District 17 is still very Republican leaning, even after the 2011 redistricting process. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index released prior to 2011 redistricting, all of the former districts that now form District 17 received Cook Partisan Voting Index’s of R+11 or higher. Republican Bill Flores ran in the 2012 Congressional election as an incumbent. There was no listed Democratic candidate, but both Libertarian Ben Easton and Independent Michael Stanford pose minor threats to Congressman Flores’s incumbency. Congressman Flores has raised $1,234,939 in campaign funds, an amount that dwarfed that of any of his challengers.
UPDATE: Flores was re-elected on November 6, winning
Districts 18 is among the most compact districts in the state, holding only 17% of Harris County. Harris is the most populous county in the state, holding 4,180,894 residents. Like other districts within Harris, the eighth is oddly shaped, purposely circumventing parts of inner Houston. Overall, the district serves a sizable portion of inner city Houston and the surrounding area. The eighteenth only has a small portion of this total at 698,488, which matches the ideal population perfectly. While only 21% of the eighteenth is dedicated to Houston, it carries 432,939 from the city. The district holds a predominantly African American and Hispanic population. Only 16.7% are White compared to the 41.4% African American and 38.7% Hispanic populations. The redistricting process has done little to change the boundaries of the eighteenth, besides extending the northern border and reducing the southern one.
The eighteenth District has been a longtime Democratic stronghold. With only minor changes to its boundaries, this is unlikely to change in 2012. The district has a voting age population of 505,750, which, like the district itself, is composed primarily of African Americans and Hispanics. Currently, the eighteenth is represented by Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee, who has served since 1994. Currently, she serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on the Judiciary. She is an extremely popular Congresswoman, winning the past few elections with over 70% of the vote. Opposing Representative Lee in her 2012 bid for re-election were three candidates: Republican Sean Seibert, Independent Maurice Duhon, and Libertarian Christopher Barber. Lee holds the fundraising advantage, having raised $414,162, five times more than any other representative.
UPDATE: Lee was re-elected with
District 19, which borders New Mexico, is located on the western edge of Texas. It is far larger than the eighteenth, and encompasses over twenty counties. The new nineteenth has changed substantially from its predecessor, and holds some counties from the old thirteenth and eleventh. After losing the counties of Deaf Smith, Callahan, Eastland, Archer, and parts of Stephens, the nineteenth has gained parts Stonewall, Haskell, Throckmorton, and Jones counties. The largest are Lubbock and Taylor County, with populations of 278,831 and 131,506 respectively. Overall, the district has 698,487 residents, which misses the ideal population by only one. Of these, approximately 57.4% are White, 6.9% are African American, 33.9% are Hispanic, and 2.4% other.
Despite a history of Democratic representation, the nineteenth has, more recently, elected Republicans as their representatives. The nineteenth has 522,651 individuals who are of voting age: 62.1% are White, 6.2% are African American, and 29.5% are Hispanic. Currently, Republican Randy Neugebauer holds the seat. He has served since 2003 and has recently won with landslide victories. In 2008, Representative Neugebauer won with 72.4% of the vote; in 2010, he won with 77.8% of the vote. Redistricting changes are unlikely to change the electoral outcome of the district by much, as every single new county voted Republican in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential elections by substantial margins. Hoping to oppose Representative Neugebauer is Libertarian Richard Peterson. Currently, Randy Neugebauer holds a commanding financial advantage. He has raised $1,489,423; meanwhile, his opponent has raised nothing.
UPDATE: Neugebauer won with
District 20 has changed little from its predecessor. It has shrunk from its previous size and is now more compact. While the district carried 42% of Bexar County, home to San Antonio, the second most populous city in Texas, it now carries 41% of the County with its population increase. Additionally, the district is home to 698,488 residents, and is heavily Hispanic. 23% of residents are White, 5.8% are African American, and 68.6% are Hispanic. The twentieth district ranks among districts those districts with the largest minority populations.
Of its 698,488 constituents, 508,354 people are eligible to vote. Most of these voters use their power to elect Democratic candidates to office. The San Antonio area is known as one of the few Democratic strongholds in a Republican controlled state. Despite changes in redistricting, this reputation still holds. The twentieth district is held by Democratic Representative Charlie Gonzalez, a representative since 1999. Representative Gonzales has announced his decision to retire after the 2012 term, and he has named state representative Democrat Joaquin Castro as his successor. Opposing Castro is Republican David Rosa, a former businessman and precinct officer. Currently, Castro holds the lead, at least financially. He has raised $1,415,826, while Rosas has raised only $37,987.
UPDATE: Castro won with 2012 election with
Located just above the twentieth district and separated by the twenty-third is the twenty-first, a district more than twice as large as its neighbor. The district holds six complete counties and parts of four more. The district draws most of its population from Bexar County, despite holding only 15% of the county’s total area. From the total population of 698,488, the twenty-first draws 253,319, or roughly a third of its population from Bexar alone. Around eighty percent of these residents are from San Antonio. The other large county is Travis, which accounts for 189,294 of the County’s total population. Much like Bexas, the primary driver of this large population is a metropolitan city: Austin. Together, Bexar and Travis account for over half of the district’s total population, despite being disproportionately small in area. The District is composed of 64.8% White, 4.1% African American, and 27.0% Hispanic.
Within the twenty-first, 553,018 residents are eligible to vote. Recently, residents have used this power to elect Republican Representatives. The twenty-first is currently held by Republican Congressman Lamar S. Smith, who has been serving since 1987. Representative Smith is the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, and also serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He has affiliated himself with the Tea Party, joining the Tea Party Caucus in 2010. Running against the incumbent are Democrat Candace Duval and Libertarian John Henry Liberty, two candidates with limited political experience. Duval, the more competitive of the two, is a previous businesswoman and volunteer for the Democratic Party. Currently, Representative Smith, having raised $1,632,408 has a great fundraising advantage. His opponents, Ms. Duval and Liberty have raised only $49,913 and $0 respectively.
UPDATE: Smith won with
The twenty-second district holds most of the suburban areas removed from the coastline, located between Houston proper and the industrial refining areas of Galveston, Texas City, and La Porte. The newly drawn twenty-second mimics the borders set by the old district, but cut out much of the area within the Houston Beltway, which delineates the urban center from the suburban regions. The new district also shrunk inward, cutting out areas of southeast Houston that lie close to largely minority areas like Pasadena and South Houston. The demographics of the old twenty-second were 49.7% White, 25.3% Hispanic, 12.5% African American, and 10.8% Asian, with 0.3% other. Now, the district is almost equally geared toward minorities, though it contains only 2% of its most minority-populated component, Harris County.
The district previously held a rating of Solid Republican, and the drawing of the new lines has reinforced this label – PolitiGuide rated the district Solid Republican with respect to the 2012 election. The Republican Party likely hopes that there will not be an outlying Democratic representative like Nick Lampson, who held the twenty-second from 2007 to 2009. The most notable representative of the Texas twenty-second is Tom DeLay who represented the district from 1985-2006. DeLay was indicted in October of 2005 on charges of money laundering, and in November of 2010 was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison with 10 years on probation. After DeLay’s abrupt abdication from his Congressional seat, the district was led by Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. In the 2012 race, current incumbent Pete Olsen, who has held the seat since 2009, is running against Democrat Kesha Rogers, Green party candidate Don Cook, and Libertarian Steven Susman. Olsen has an advantage as an incumbent with a large financial backing of $1,330,058 compared to his opponents’ collective $38,016.
UPDATE: Olsen won with
As the eighth largest congressional district in the country, District 23 is located on the southwest border of Texas, lining much of the state’s border with Mexico along the Rio Grande. Relative to other districts, District 23 has expanded greatly because of the concentration of rural communities in the district. After losing 15% of Bexar County to the twentieth, the district has picked up eight complete counties, including Loving, Winkler, Ward, Crane, Reagan, Upton, Schleicher, and Frio, and parts of two more with an 8% increase of El Paso, 74% increase of La Salle, 32% increase of Sutton. The large size of the district with 29 counties is due to having one of the lowest population densities in the country. Together, 29 counties have 698,488 residents. Latinos are the largest demographic within the district, accounting for 69.3% of the total population. In contrast, the White population only makes up 25.5% while the African American population makes up 3.6%. Much of the Latino population is concentrated in the southern parts of the district, in counties such as Zavala, Val Verde, Maverick, and Presidio.
Of the district’s 698,488 residents, 489,508 are of voting age. The twenty-third district lines have recently been an issue of great contention due to the majority Latino population. For instance, in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perrythat the twenty-third violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965, since the twenty-third was a protected majority-Hispanic district. Consequently, the district boundaries were redrawn and lost many of its heavily Republican areas given to it in 2003. In this current redistricting cycle, the twenty-third was monitored by Republican legislators to not bring down the district’s Hispanic population while still bringing down the slim Democratic majority. Redistricting switched out high-voting Democratic Hispanic areas with areas that have lower turnout. In the 2012 election, incumbent Republican Francisco “Quinco” Canseco will compete against challengers Democrat Pete P. Gallego, Libertarian Jeffrey C. Blunt, and Green party candidate Ed Scharf. Canseco faces tough competition because Gallego has political experience as the previous state representative of the Texas House from Texas’s seventy-fourth district. Canseco has the financial advantage of $2,505,797 to Gallego’s $1,488,352; the rest of the challengers have not raised any money.
UPDATE: Gallego won the election with a close margin of
Serving the suburban area in between Fort Worth and Dallas, the twenty-fourth district is centered on the Dallas-Tarrant county line and includes the southeastern corridor of Denton County as well. Due to the large population increase of
District 24 has exactly 698,488 individuals, the ideal number of people per district, with 528,185 of voting age. Since 2004, the district seat has been held by Republican Kenny Marchant. During the 2003 Texas redistricting, Marchant was strategically positioned within the House’s Redistricting Commission to shift the district from a Democratic majority with a large Latino population to a heavily Republican-leaning populace dominated by a White population. Subsequently, Marchant has won every re-election with a sizable majority of over 55% of the vote. In the 2012 election, Marchant is challenged by Democrat Tim Rusk and Libertarian John Stathas. Marchant is expected to win, given his incumbency and financial advantage; Marchant has collected an arsenal of $751,739 worth of campaign finances compared to the $6,252 collection of his opponents.
UPDATE: Marchant won his re-election campaign with
The redistricting cycle placed the twenty-fifth district in an entirely different geographical location within the state. Located in the middle of Texas, the twenty-fifth district now stretches north to a southern portion of Tarrant County near Fort Worth and south to Hays County. The new district lines only include the previous counties of Hays and Travis, though with a reduction of 75% and 23% respectively. The twenty-fifth also includes the reduction of the following counties: Bastrop, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Gonzales, and Lavaca. The district then gained the entirety of eight counties, namely Bosque, Burnet, Coryell, Hamilton, Hill, Johnson, Lampasas, and Somervell. Parts of three counties were also added: 11% of Bell, 46% of Erath, and less than 1% of Tarrant. The twenty-fifth took previous portions of the sixth, tenth, eleventh, seventeenth, twenty-first, twenty-fifth, and thirty-first districts. Demographically, the district is now composed of 70.3% White, 8.3% African American, and 17.3% Hispanic.
The district sits as the second largest population divergence from the ideal of 698,488 people with 10 people short. Of its 698,478 constituency, 520,530 are of voting age. Democrat Lloyd Doggett has represented the district since 2004, but is not running for re-election in the twenty-fifth district given the stark geographical and ideological shifts as a result of redistricting. FairVote produced a partisanship study on the new maps in Texas and determined that the twenty-fifth district, in particular, switched ideologies from 56% Democratic and 44% Republican in 2010 to 40% Democratic and 60% Republican in 2012. In the Republican primary for the district seat, twelve contenders ran for the Republican party nomination, with Roger Williams pulling out with a win after a run-off election. Democrat Elaine Henderson was uncontested in the Democratic primary. Williams is expected to win given his political acumen as the former Secretary of State of Texas. Williams has also raised $3,020,827, the second largest financial advantage of all the Texas congressional candidates.
UPDATE: Williams won the election with
Occupying an area in the northern portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the twenty-sixth district is centered around Denton County. Prior to redistricting, the district was comprised of less than 1% of Dallas County, 72% of Cooke County, 79% of Denton, and 20% of Trenton. After the 2010 Census, the size of the district was decreased given large population increases in all four districts, particularly the
498,267 people in the twenty-sixth district are of the voting-age population. Since 1985, the district has voted solidly Republican. The current representative, Michael C. Burgess, has held the seat since 2003, winning each election with more than 60% of the vote. In the 2012 election, Burgess will be contested by challengers Democrat David Sanchez and Libertarian Mark Boler. As the twenty-first most Republican district in the United States, it is unlikely Burgess will lose re-election. Burgess also sits with a financial chest of $947,075 from contributing professionals and companies; on the other hand, his most salient opponent, Sanchez, has only gathered $11,044.
UPDATE: Burgess won the election with
The twenty-seventh district is geographically located in the coastal bend of Texas’ Gulf Coast, consisting of Corpus Christi and Victoria County up to Bastrop County near Austin and Wharton County near Houston. Previously, the district reached from Corpus Christi to Brownsville. Given this stark geographical shift, the district only retained the counties of Nueces and San Patricio, though the latter county with a reduction of 10%. The new twenty-seventh is constructed with the entirety of 9 counties of Aransas, Calhoun, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Neuces, Refugio, Victoria, and Wharton. Portions of 4 others were also added: 40% of Bastrop, 53% of Caldwell, 69% of Gonzales, and 68% of San Patricio. The population of the district has a large White and Hispanic population, consisting of 42.8% and 49.5% of the population respectively. African Americans, on the other hand, are just 6.0% of the constituency. The district no longer has a majority-Hispanic population as it did prior to redistricting with a 73.2% Hispanic majority. The population is one away from the ideal with a total of 698,487 people.
Of its nearly 700,000-person constituency, 516,473 are of voting age. Prior to 2010, its populace has voted consistently Democratic, seating Democrat Solomon P. Ortiz 1982 till 2010. In the 2010 midyear election, Ortiz lost his re-election campaign to Republican Randolph Farenthold by a margin of 648 votes. Due to redistricting, the district has an even a larger Republican stronghold. FairVote’s partisanship study on new maps in Texas determined that the twenty-seventh shifted from an equal 50/50 Democrat to Republican ratio in 2010 to a 37/63 Democrat to Republican ratio in 2012. Current incumbent Randolph Farenthold is seeking re-election against opponents Democrat Rose Meza Harrison and Libertarian Corrie Byrd. Farenthold is expected to win given his incumbency and financial advantage of $1,081,158, more than 85 times the amount of Harrison, his most prominent contender.
UPDATE: Farenthold regained his seat with a slim majority of
Located in the deep south of Texas, the twenty-eighth district runs from south of San Antonio to the U.S.-Mexico border. After redistricting, the strip lost 17% of Hidalgo County, 74% of La Salle County, and the entirety of Frio, Guadalupe, and Jim Hogg counties. Demographically, the district used to be composed of 18.4% White, 1.8% African American, and 78.9% Hispanic. This composition is roughly similar to the demographic breakdown after redistricting with a population of 17.8% Whites, 5.0% African Americans, and 76.3% Hispanics. The new district lines bring the district’s population to 698,488, a great improvement from its 153,336 excess of people prior to redistricting.
472,331 people in the district are eligible to vote. Since the twenty-eighth was first created in 1993, its population has voted for Democratic members to fill the elected seat. Current incumbent Henry Cuellar has held the seat since 2005, with roughly 60% of the vote in each election cycle. In the 2012 election, Cuellar is running for re-election against Republican Williams Hayward, Green Party member Michael D. Cary, and Libertarian Patrick Hisel. While the district did shrink geographically, it is unlikely this will affect the Democratic stronghold on the district, since the population’s ideology is relatively unchanged. Cuellar is also expected to win with his financial advantage of $1,586,737, compared to his opponent’s $0.
UPDATE: Cuellar won his re-election campaign with
The new Texas twenty-ninth district was very minimally changed, encompassing 17% of Harris County both before and after redistricting. The district remains strangely shaped, containing most areas of East Houston outside of the Beltway, and then craning up and around the city, coming down into North Houston, and even barely reaching inside the loop. Regardless of the few boundary adjustments made to the district, the demography has stayed almost exactly the same except for a .3% increase in the Hispanic population and a .1% increase in the African American population. Prior to redistricting, District 29 had a population composed of 12.5% White, 10.6% African American, 76.0% Hispanic, and 1.6% other. The district still has a uniquely minority-driven population, with the White demographic making up only 11.8% of the population. Hispanics make up 76.3% of the demography, and African Americans, 10.7%, with Asians and Native Americans accounting for the remainder.
The district is composed of 698,488 people, with 471,352 of them of voting-age. Despite changes in line boundaries, the district is projected to be Solid Democratic by a report published by PolitiGuide. Democrat Gene Green has been representative to the twenty-ninth since 1993, winning the last few elections by a substantial margin of over 70% of the vote. In this heavily Democratic-leaning district, Green has not faced much electoral opposition, previously running without Republican opposition in 1998, 2002, and 2004. Once again in the 2012 election, Green is not faced with a Republican challenger, his only challengers are Green party candidate Maria Selva and Libertarian James Stanczak. Green has a large financial backing of $956,758 to his opponents’ $0.
UPDATE: Green won his re-election in the November election with a whopping majority of
Serving much of the city of Dallas and parts of Dallas County, District 30 shrunk slightly in area. This area reduction is because the district is entirely composed of one county: Dallas County. The county, with a population growth of
496,651 of the 698,487 constituents in the district are of voting age. Historically, the eligible voters have used this power to put a member of the Democratic Party into power. Since the district’s creation in 1993, it has been represented by Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson. When Johnson ran in 1992, she defeated Republican nominee Lucy Cain with 72% of the vote. Since then, she has won every re-election with never less than 72% of the vote, with the exception of her 54.59% lead in 1996, which was the worst election performance of her congressional career. In the 2012 election, Johnson is contested by Republican Travis Washington Jr. and Libertarian Ed Rankin. Johnson has a large financial advantage as the incumbent with a collective of $740,617 to her opponents’ combined $4,701.
UPDATE: Johnson won the 2012 election with
Geographically located in central Texas from north Austin up to Stephenville, District 31 includes most of the fast-growing northern suburbs of Austin with Williamson County and Bell County with the Fort Hood military base. Due to the 2010 census, which showed large population increases in Williamson and Bell counties, the district lost Erath County, Hamilton County, Coryell County, Falls County, and Milam County. The district is composed of 59.5% Whites, 12.9% African Americans, and 22.5% Hispanics. Its population of 698,487 is one away from the ideal population of 698,488.
501,657 of the citizens in District 31 are of voting age. Republican John Carter has held the congressional seat since 2002. In 2002, Carter retired from his bench as judge of the 277th District of Williamson County to run for Congress in the then newly created thirty-first district. Though he was second in the 2002 Republican party primary to Peter Wareing who held 36.93% of the votes to his 26.00%, he went on to defeat Wareing in the Republican party runoff election with 56.83% of the vote. In the heavily Republican district, his winning of the Republican nomination secured his spot in the congressional position. Since 2002, he has been re-elected four times, carrying approximately 60% of the vote each time. In the 2012 election, Carter is seeking re-election. He won the Republican Party primary with 75.99% of the vote. Carter also holds a large financial advantage of $846,358 to his opponents’ $0.
UPDATE: Carter went on to win the election with
Serving the suburban area of northwestern Dallas, District 32 was created after the 2000 census when Texas gained two additional seats. The district includes part of the North Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, the current home of George W. Bush. The district previously contained much of the Western Dallas County area, but now covers mostly northern and eastern Dallas County as well as a small southern portion of Collin County. Demographically, it is composed of 53.3% Whites, 13.0% African Americans, and 25.6% Hispanics. The population of 698,488 matches the ideal population perfectly.
Of its nearly 700,000 constituents, 523,179 are of voting age. Since 2004, Republican Pete Sessions has held the seat as representative of the district. Previously, in the 2004 election, Martin Frost, the Democratic representative from Texas’ twenty-fourth district that previously included Fort Worth, Arlington, and parts of Dallas, decided to challenge Sessions over candidates running for the seat in the twenty-fourth district. At the time, Sessions benefitted from President George W. Bush’s endorsement in this staunchly Republican-leaning district. Sessions seeks re-election in 2012 and is largely advantaged as an incumbent and with more finances; Sessions raised $1,714,368, nearly 25 time opponent Democrat Katherine Savers McGovern’s $73,646 and Libertarian Seth Hollist’s $5,424.
UPDATE: Sessions won
District 33, a new district created as a result of the 2010 Census, is composed of the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, including parts of Arlington, Grand Prairie, Irving, and Fort Worth. On a county level, the district includes Parker, southern parts of Tarrant, and southeastern Wise. The new district includes the following percentage of voters from the old congressional districts: 8% from the sixteenth district, 14% from the twelfth district, 10% from the twenty-fourth district, 27% from the twenty-sixth district, 10% from the thirtieth district, and 32% from the thirty-second district. The district has a majority minority population with 17.8% African Americans and 62.3% Hispanics, leaving a small 18.4% of Whites.
With exactly 698,488 citizens, the thirty-third district has the ideal population for a congressional district. 469,456 of that population are of voting age. In the 2012 primary elections, 11 candidates ran for the Democratic primary, 2 for the Republican primary, 1 as a Green party candidate, and 1 as an independent candidate. Chuck Bradley won 63.78% of the vote in the Republican primary without much controversy. On the other hand, the Democratic primary went sour as the top two contenders, Marc Veasey and Domingo Garcia, battled it out for the finish. When Garcia made allegedly negative comments about General Motors, the biggest employer in Tarrant County, Veasey purposely showed his support for the United Auto Workers. Ultimately, Veasey won a slim majority of the runoff primary election with 52.72% of the vote in contrast to Garcia’s 47.27%. Veasey’s whopping arsenal of $1,156,566 worth of campaign funds will play in his favor since he has outspent Bradley’s $12,983 by almost 90 times.
UPDATE: Veasey went on to win the election with
Composed of the area on the Gulf Coast between the cities of Brownsville and Corpus Christi, District 34 was created as a result of the 2010 Census. The district includes the counties of Cameron, Willacy, Kenedy, Kleberg, Jim Wells, Bee, Goliad, De Witt, southwestern Gonzales, southeastern Hidalgo, and western San Patricio. From the previous district lines, the district acquired 49% of the fifteenth district’s voters, 1% of the twenty-fifth district’s voters, and 50% of the twenty-seventh district’s voters. The population has a strong minority population, with a mere 18.6% White in comparison to its 79.0% Hispanic and 1.7% African American populations.
480,232 of its 698,487 are of voting age. From its acquired counties, the district’s current representatives are perfectly split between the Democratic and Republican parties, with the fifteenth and twenty-fifth district having Democratic representatives and the twenty-seventh district having a Republican representative. In the 2012 primary elections, 8 candidates ran for the Democratic Party, 3 for the Republican Party, 1 for the Libertarian convention, and 1 as an independent candidate. In the Democratic primary, Filemon Vela won 40.46% of the vote, resulting in a runoff election with Denise Saenz Blanchard, who had the next highest number of votes at 12.89%. Vela went on to win the runoff election with 66.63% of the vote. For the 12,751 individuals that voted in the Republican primary, votes were widely split between candidates Jessica Puente Bradshaw, Adela Garza, and Paul B. Haring, attaining 34.57%, 36.32%, and 29.09% of the vote, respectively. Subsequently, in the runoff primary election, Jessica Puente Bradshaw won a narrow majority of 55.32% of the vote. He has a leg-up over other contenders, since nearly three times the number of people, 45,062 voters compared to 12,751, participated in the Democratic primary as opposed to the Republican primary. Velo also has raised $757,783, nearly seven times that of Republican Puente Bradshaw with $95,019.
UPDATE: Democratic candidate Filemon Vela ultimately went on to win the election with
Created as a result of the 2010 Census, District 35 is a new district. The district is irregularly shaped and includes parts of San Antonio metropolitan area, including central and northeastern Bexar, northwestern Caldwell, southeastern Comal, southeastern Hays, and southeastern Travis. The district is composed of 2% of the previous voters from the tenth district, 21% from the twentieth district, 20% from the twenty-first district, 13% from the twenty-third district, 38% from the twenty-fifth district, and 5% from the twenty-eighth district. Similar to the thirty-fourth district, the population has a strong minority influence, composed of only 25.2% Whites as opposed to its 62.8% Hispanic and 10.8% African American population.
Of its 698,488 total population, 517,267 are eligible to vote. Current representatives from acquired regions are split pretty evenly between the Democratic and Republican parties, with the acquired portions of the tenth, twenty-first, and twenty-third districts having current Republican representatives as opposed to the twentieth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-eighth districts having current Democratic representatives. In the 2012 primary elections, 3 candidates ran for the Democratic party, 3 for the Republican party, 1 as Libertarian, 1 for the Green party, and 2 as independent candidates. Susan Narvaiz won the Republican Party primary with 51.77% of the vote and Lloyd Doggett won the Democratic Party primary with 73.24% of the vote. Doggett is expected to win as more than 1.5 times the number of Democrats voted in the primaries in comparison to the Republican voters, 19,876 people as opposed to 12,751. Lloyd Doggett is also advantaged financially, having raised $1,596,422, more than ten times that of Susan Narvaiz who raised $159,010.
UPDATE: Doggett ultimately won the election with
Similar to Districts 33, 34, and 36, District 36 is a new district, created as a result of the 2010 Census. The district is geographically located in the southeast region of Texas and will include the counties of Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Polk, Orange, Hardin, Liberty, Chambers, as well as southeastern portions of Harris. The district is comprised of 18% of the previous constituents of the second district, 43% from the eighth district, 5% from the fourteenth district, 28% from the twenty-second district, and 5% from the twenty-ninth district. The district is demographically composed of 698,488 people, which correlates perfectly with the ideal population, of which 65.8% are White, 9.9% are African American, and 21.2% are Hispanic.
Of the nearly 700,000 population, 517,267 are of voting age. Congressional representatives from the acquired counties are all Republican with the exception of Gene Green from the twenty-ninth district. This resulted in a primarily Republican-leaning population. For the 2012 primary elections, 12 candidates ran for the Republican Nomination, 1 for the Democratic Nomination, 1 Libertarian candidate, and 1 independent candidate. In the Republican primary, Steve Stockman and Stephen Takach defeated Jerry Doyle, Jim Engstrand, Ky D. Griffin, Mike Jackson, Chuck Meyer, Kim Morrell, Lois Dickson Myers, Keith Casey, Daniel Whitton, and Tim Wintill with 21.78% and 22.42% of the vote respectively. In a runoff election, Stockman ultimately defeated Takach, acquiring 55.3% of the vote. Stockman is expected to win the general election with his great financial advantage, having raised $319,640, almost 100 times more than his closest rival Democrat Max Martin with $2,222.
UPDATE: In the general election, Stockman defeated Martin with