Let’s face it, political trials are always tricky beasts. You never know when a widely acknowledged con-man or woman is going to get 3 years in prison, or if they’ll walk free due to the real crime being what’s legal (or, at least, impossible to prove). Such is the case with Jerry Eversole, Harris County’s most ethically challenged County Commissioner.
So what if we have Jerry Eversole to kick around again in 2014? Last weekend, I drew what a map might look like if the Commissioners opted to just wash their hands clean of Jerry Eversole. But if that’s not the case, then the map might be in need of some tweaking. Maybe.
For the sake of argument, here’s a revised version of that previous map, with the “Hispanic district” stretched out include as many Humble precincts as possible to maintain Eversole’s old base of support (he now lives in the Heights). Just for good measure, I extended the 1960 boundary along the northwest up to Cypress Creek. Rationale being that if there’s any effort to maintain a competitive district for Eversole, he’ll likely win the arm-wrestling for a few GOP add-ons. Whether it’s those or from somewhere else (or, at all), we shall see. Bottom line is that the previous version of the Hispanic district has been plussed up for a GOP candidate to consider running in.
The result is that the Hispanic district can still be maintained with 55% Hispanic population, Eversole’s home precinct, and his Humble electoral base. In this particular drawing, the district is 54% Hispanic, but that likely bumps up a bit once the Census numbers are in. Easy to assume that it’s 55% Hispanic by then. Electorally, the district is 57-42 Obama. It may be safe to assume that the district was 50-50 in 2010 considering that the county’s baseline vote for Dems dropped about 7 points. In short, this is a toss-up district, a Hispanic district, and allows the other County Commissioners off the hook over whether Eversole should return. It takes care of an awful lot of birds with one stone and essentially lets the voters decide Jerry Eversole’s fate in 2014.
If anything, I suspect there may be a requirement to construct a Hispanic opportunity district that is 55% Hispanic among Voting Age Population. That would make Eversole’s re-election scenario hazier as the district would get a lot surer for a Democratic candidate as you pack on Hispanic precincts within Harris County.
Morman’s district is a bit more GOP friendly (67-32 McCain) while Radack’s is still maybe not as much the GOP lock that he might like (58-42 McCain). I’ll leave that for them to determine how to split any differences. I don’t pretend to know what the dynamics are for the commissioners to want to do something along these lines. But if there’s any obstinence by the Justice Department to ensure a Hispanic seat that doesn’t retrogress the current situation, it might be something to consider.