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Morrison reclaims Victoria County in redistricting maps

By ALLISON MILES
Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:29 p.m.


A closer look

For a closer look at the redistricting lines, visit

www.tlc.state.tx.us/redist/redist.htm.

Victoria County once again belongs to state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria.

A San Antonio federal court on Tuesday issued updated congressional and state Senate and state House maps.

District 30, which Morrison has represented for six terms, includes Victoria, DeWitt, Goliad, Refugio, Calhoun and Aransas counties under the new plan.

Although the move pulls Jackson and Lavaca counties from the district, it picks up Calhoun and Aransas counties.

Victoria County sits in District 18 on the Senate map.

The map is good news for Victoria, Morrison said, putting communities of interest together.

Although Morrison has never represented Aransas or Calhoun counties, she said she knows many people in the areas and will work well with them. She said she has enjoyed working with Jackson and Lavaca counties through the years.

The new court-ordered maps are similar to those the Legislature first passed, with a few tweaks here and there, Morrison said, noting that, constitutionally, it was the right decision to make.

"I'm very pleased the San Antonio court listened and drew a map I think is in deference to the Legislature," she said.

The issue still remains foggy, said state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi. While some maps were released, it doesn't appear court orders went out.

Generally, court orders are issued explaining what the maps mean, he said Tuesday evening, noting he was working to determine whether those released were final.

Even if approved, Hunter said the maps must still clear the courts in Washington, D.C.

Under previous maps, Hunter's District 32 would have included Victoria, Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces and San Patricio counties.

Under the new plan, his district would include part of Nueces County.

"This has been the most murky thing I've ever seen," he said. "My question is, what happens if the D.C. court rules differently?"

Word of the maps is a relief because it means a light at the end of the tunnel, said Kelli Gill, Victoria County Democratic Party chairwoman.

Still, Gill said she wouldn't hold her breath.

Things are fluid and maps have changed, she said, but it is encouraging to know the first set of interim maps the San Antonio federal court issued were fair.

"I have confidence that the maps are going to be fair and are going to do justice regarding not disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of minority individuals," she said, explaining she had not yet looked over the plans.

The information is a lot to take in but, all in all, the updates were positive, said Michael Cloud, Victoria County Republican Party chairman.

It is the state's right and obligation to draw up the maps, Cloud said, noting that was his case all along.

"We felt the court was meddling all along in exceeding their authority and the Supreme Court agreed," he said. "We're glad to see the courts followed along with that admonishment."

Tuesday's announcement means the state's Republican and Democratic parties primaries will likely move to May 29, said George Matthews, Victoria County elections administrator.

Elections for the City of Victoria, Victoria College, water districts and Victoria school district will still take place May 12.

The two dates' close proximity is likely to confuse some voters, Matthews said.

All in all, Morrison said she was glad the court came to the decision it did.

"It's been such a rollercoaster ride for everyone, up and down through the process," she said. "I just look forward to representing House District 30 again."

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