I can't imagine that the news has escaped anyone who stumbled onto this post, but new maps are out from the San Antonio Court. It basically starts the process of nailing down the primary elections, though there's still a ray of light that CD25 may be restored by the DC Court as an Austin-centric district for Lloyd Doggett whenever they issue their opinion.
The stuff that matters for Harris County is as follows:
- Three competitive district: HD137 (really more of just an open seat than it is competitive for the General), HD144, HD149. HD134 is just after each of those in terms of competitiveness. I know that there's an enormous core of activists from that area who will likely itch to see the seat go Dem again. As drawn, I think it's just going to be tantalizingly out-of-reach for the decade ... barring any kind of scandal, of course.
- The real losses in the region seem to be as follows: HD26 retains the Charlie Howard water faucet and hence remains prohibitively Republican.
- On taking the good with the bad: So I've been re-drawn into House District 137, as they've added more of Gulfton. I'll happily be voting for Gene Wu in the primary. But I'm also drawn into Congressional District 7. Ya know, because all them Gulfton Hispanics really have a lot in common with Hedwig Village and Jersey Village. Draw your own landscaping/nanny/housekeeper jokes. But I don't see any of those Village folks dining at the China Star Buffet or any of the numerous and wonderful taquerias in my neighborhood. CD7 starts the decade as 58.7%-40.4% McCain-Obama. We'll see if the numbers move any during the decade.
- Southeast Texas' CD14 remains pretty much as-is/was. It hasn't changed dramatically since the Lege passed their version of the district. Which means good things for Nick Lampson. The average Dem in both Federal and State races in 2008 got 47% in the district. And none of those candidates polled like Lampson has in Jefferson County. I traveled to the Texas City and Beaumont leg of the Campaign Kickoff on Monday and the crowds at both were impressive. Kuff riffs off of the Chronicle's report on the Texas City event.
- Two long-distance district to note. First, the I-35 district (conveniently enumerated as CD35) that covers part of south San Antonio and SE Austin. I'm assuming Doggett runs there for the time being. We know that the Bexar County Tax-Assessor, Sylvia Romo, is running. And we have no word on Ciro Rodriguez, but I don't see him challenging Doggett. I'll refer you back to the post I did with the primary numbers when we had the Lege's iteration of the district. Doggett may gain a bit by not having to run against a better-known candidate, even if Romo's nothing to sneeze at. But given the fact that no Anglo candidate has ever beaten a Hispanic candidate in the prior version, I'd expect to see a similarly tough road for Doggett with this district as well.
- Secondly, CD33 in the DFW Metroplex. It's definitely an ugly duck in terms of geography and demographics. But anything that undoes the single biggest injustice of the 2003 map is progress. No client work going on there, but I'm a fan of State Rep. Marc Veasey. It could get real interesting if a strong Hispanic candidate from Dallas gets in, though.
- For anything else concerning this phase of redistricting, you're just not doing it right unless you read Michael Li's blog. I've got all the raw data hacked for the Almanac and offer no guarantees for how soon before I have the pages updated for each.