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How does House plan change Crossroads districts?

By Gabe Semenza
April 28, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Updated April 27, 2011 at 11:28 p.m.


GOODBYE TO RON PAUL?

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul will no longer serve Victoria if a map, purported to foreshadow a Texas congressional district shakeup, proves accurate.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, released to the Advocate a Texas congressional district map he claims his Republican colleagues are considering now.

If the map is accurate, Paul, a Lake Jackson Republican, will legislate in a district that no longer includes Calhoun, Jackson, Matagorda and Victoria counties. His district would shrink to include Wharton and Fort Bend counties, according to Doggett's map.

That map, however, is unofficial. Republicans won't confirm or deny its accuracy, and no formal redistricting proposal has been made public.

If accurate, Aransas, Calhoun, Colorado, Jackson, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio and Victoria counties would join District 35.

The state's 35th Congressional District is a new district to be created as a result of 2010 U.S. Census data.

Telephone calls and emails to Paul's office went unreturned.

To view the map, visit www.VictoriaAdvocate.com and click this story.

State Rep. Geanie Morrison voted yes to a GOP-led Texas House redistricting plan that alters boundary lines in the Crossroads.

Morrison, a Victoria Republican, argued against earlier versions of the plan, which would have stripped and replaced most of the counties in House District 30. Her district includes Victoria County, and counties to the south and west.

The House-approved version, passed early Thursday, keeps much of her district intact and included rural, coastal counties.

"We feel good," said Justin Unruh, Morrison's spokesman. "Our major interest for this was to keep communities of interest together as a whole."

House District 30 currently includes Victoria, DeWitt, Lavaca, Jackson and Refugio counties.

Under the House-approved version, the district would still include DeWitt, Refugio and Victoria counties. But the bill would move Lavaca and Jackson counties elsewhere and replace them with Aransas, Calhoun and Goliad counties.

To become official, the House redistricting map must next pass through the Texas Senate and governor's office.

Lines were redrawn based on 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, which reflects sweeping population and demographic shifts. Each district must be home to 167,000 residents, give or take a slim margin.

Because of population migration to the state's urban areas, Morrison's fight against original redistricting plans was tough, Unruh said.

"It was difficult to pass amendments that didn't cause problems that rippled throughout the state," he said. "We were able to get an amendment approved that put DeWitt back in our district, but we still lost Lavaca and Jackson."

Proposed effects on the region's counties:

Aransas: Leave District 32 for District 30, led by Morrison.

Calhoun: Leave District 32 for District 30.

DeWitt: Remain in District 30.

Goliad: Leave District 35 for District 30.

Jackson: Leave District 30 for District 85, an open district.

Lavaca: Leave District 30 for District 13, led by Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican.

Refugio: Remain in District 30.

Victoria: Remain in District 30.

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